Friday, October 24, 2014

a little SPARKLE & lots of SHINE {Ava is ONE}

when I think of Ava many words flutter through my mind. sassy. full of spunk. vivacious. lively. our girl has so much personality it just oozes out of her. she has a little sparkle and lots of shine! I absolutely adore it. she constantly makes us laugh & chuckle. it doesn't matter where we go, she is just a smilin & a wavin. she hasn't met many strangers that she doesn't like. {just that one time in trader joes. hah!}

Ava reminds me of myself in some ways. outgoing. happy. extroverted. friendly. a people person. I can't go anywhere without people stopping to talk to her. and I love it! people say you have to be careful when you have a child so that you don't make them into what you want them to be. and to not make them like you. as parents we must allow our children to be who they want & not change who they are becoming. I find it great that she shares some of my personality, but even if she didn't I want her to be herself. I love all of her from the tip of her nose to the bottom of her toes. I cannot express how much joy she brings to our world.

she also has those sweet moments where all she wants is for mama or daddy to hold her. or cuddle her. where she's mellow & quiet. it melts me to the core of my heart. 

I hope you enjoy these amazing pictures as much as I do!


photo credits: Heather Papineau Photography
gold messy bow head wrap: RubyBlue Inc.
birthday babe onesie: Lola & Darla
skirt: Kardashian Kids Collection
mini birthday hat: Kutie Bow Tuties

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

the secret's OUT!!

secrets. oh goodness don't we all have them. some darker and deeper than others. but ya know what?! it's time that we come clean and share our secrets. so people will finally understand that we're not perfect. that even though our lives may seem fit together in a cute little decorated shiny box, it isn't always fun. and it isn't always great. and it definitely isn't perfect.

a few weeks ago I was jammin to some music in the car {you know, the usual}...I heard this song on the radio, which inspired me to write this post. click here to have a listen. you may end up loving it as much as I do!

the secret's are out folks ---

my guilty pleasure is watching the ABC series Revenge
I love my butt
I sometimes need a wake up call so I'm not late
I'm always late
I'm scared of the dark
I sometimes yell
I'm a smother mother {is there such a thing as cuddling too much?!}
I don't like being compared side by side to my twin sister
I don't like my teeth
I get freaked out watching scary movies {precisely why I don't watch scary movies}
I sometimes cry during commercials
I love when my hubby wears cologne
I have a fear of drowning from a huge wave {meanwhile I love the beach}
I sleep nude
I wear my heart on my sleeve
I pierced my nose for a boyfriend
I have what you might call a Type A personality
I sometimes laugh when my daughter cries {she's still so cute}
I eat too much candy

now that the secret's out it's up to me on how to handle them. know this -- I will pray long & hard for God to remove my fears. to help me be content with who I am. to live for the future and not live for the past.  to have self control.

I know I'm not the only one! I'm tired of people judging me. hating on my life. I've decided to stop caring about what other people think. it's quite nice on this side of the judgement track. won't you join me?!

"I don't care if the world knows what my secrets are. so what!" - Secrets by Mary Lambert


Friday, October 17, 2014

my birth story

this is our story. the story of how our little Ava greeted the world:

when we found out I was pregnant we signed up for a birthing class right away. we wanted to be as knowledgable as we could about the birthing process. we used the Bradley Method of husband-coached natural childbirth. this method is based on relaxing through the contractions with normal breathing & the husband being the coach. I knew this was the route to take after watching 3 natural births {my twin sister & my sister in law} all of which used the Bradley Method. I felt so prepared. we felt prepared. {ladies encourage your husbands to read The Husband-Coached Childbirth: The Bradley Method of Natural Childbirth. Bryan read this & was totally encouraged about the birthing process.}

I was 40 weeks & 1 day when my water broke in the wee hours of the morning. 3:00am to be exact. I had just gone back to bed after having to go pee {oh you know, for the 4th or 5th time}. I woke Bryan up to tell him. he was dead asleep when I rattled him. he literally jumped out of bed. we went back to sleep so we wouldn't be tired in the morning. {I knew that I wasn't in active labor & who wants to go to the hospital at 3:00am anyway!?}

with so much excitement I barely slept. my contractions were consistently 10 minutes apart. we spent all day laboring at home. that was our plan. the hours were a blure. my mom joined the party in the afternoon. we walked. we watched a movie. {tip: if you're not ready to go to the hospital, do something to take your mind off of the watching your favorite movie. your favorite tv show. playing a game.} we walked some more. it was a chilly & windy day so I really didn't have the desire to walk, but I knew I needed to. I sore I would walk that girl out! some of our neighbors came outside knowing that I was a girl on a mission to get the baby OUT.

we went to the hospital around 8pm. when we arrived there was no room available. {I felt like Mary with baby Jesus! haha} I was contracting & didn't have a room to stay in! I was in pain. I was furious. tired. thankfully, shortly after we arrived we got settled into a room. the nurse asked questions & took my vitals. I was only dilated 2cm! what?! after the long day I just knew it had to be more than 2 measly cm! I wanted to cry.

because I was approaching 24 hours with my water broken my midwife insisted that I be induced with pitocin. I got mad. I yelled. I cried. I cried some more. I was devastated. our plan was to use no medication whatsoever. I felt defeated. there was nothing I could do. I was so ready to meet Ava. the nursing staff allowed me to walk the halls until it was time to induce.

I didn't get the pitocin til close to midnight. I was scared that it would cause excruciating contractions that would be unbearable. but it wasn't. yes, they came fast. they came strong. then they came faster & stronger. but I was determined. I was so focused on relaxing through my contractions. taking it one contraction at a time. there was no going back. Bryan was there for {almost} every contraction. a guy's gotta go to the bathroom right?! we had a great support system. a great team. I held onto Bryan for each contraction while my mom put pressure on my lower back {I had more back labor}. I don't know if I could have done it without them.

we were so tired. Bryan's legs were literally going weak. I was falling asleep amidst each contraction. I would wake with fear that a contraction was coming. I started feeling the urge to push. my midwife was no where to be found. { find a good midwife} they wanted me to stop pushing but I didn't want to. I couldn't. the nurse checked & I was dilated 8cm. unknowingly I was actually 10cm, but they wanted to wait for the midwife.

when it was finally time to push I took it nice & slow. I had my husband. my mom. my sister. my sister in law. each holding an arm. {or a leg.} cheering me on. I was in the zone. I was so ready. I pushed a total of 4 times. then there she was! our sweet girl. she was a dream. it was so very surreal for me. I didn't cry like I thought I would. it was just so surreal. so much adrenaline was going through me. we had our girl. the one we waited for.

throughout the whole birthing process one thing remained. prayer. I was praying. my husband was beside me praying. my family was in the waiting room on their knees praying for me.  one of my best friends Jenn Lee was at home praying. I know there were others & for that I am extremely grateful. those prayers were what got me through that birth. it was hard. it was painful. yet it was SO worth it.

I would love to say that my birth story went how I envisioned. but this is my story. in the end we have a beautiful gift. a beautiful daughter. our Ava. in the end it doesn't matter if you get an epidural. if you have a c-section. or if you birthed at home. what truly matters is that you have a cuddly baby that is healthy & alive.

to all my prego friends out there ---->>> get knowledgable about the birthing process. read books. watch videos. talk to other moms. join a community group of moms. do your research. you have a say. of course your story will be different from mine. from any other mom. it will be your story. so get to know your story before it even begins.

my sister in law, Jessica has begun her journey as a doula. if you're prego & would like to know more about her services call her! 757.718.2031.

these are just a few great resources for your journey of pregnancy:

- Book: Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way
- Book: The Husband-Coached Childbirth: The Bradley Method of Natural Childbirth
- Book: Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy
- Book: On Becoming Babywise
- Video: The Business of Being Born


Sunday, October 5, 2014

squishing spiders & love at 1st sight.

for laughs. there are so many things that I never thought I would do or have to do when I became a mama. squishing spiders with my bare hands is one of them. no matter how small or large I still cringe. and shriek every. single. time.

here are some more "now-that-I'm-a-mama" moments ----

  • I wipe snot from my daughters nose onto my pants. or shirt. especially when there isn't a tissue in sight. and sometimes even when there is a tissue in sight. 
  • I wipe snot from someone else's kid onto my pants. or shirt. 
  • sometimes I don't shower for 2 or 3 days. I just need 2 extra squirts of my beloved "escada taj sunset" perfume. you do what you gotta do! hah!
  • I sit in the car for 15 or 20 extra minutes so my daughter gets a "decent" nap before grocery shopping. 
  • I pee with the door open. with my daughter inches beside because she can't bare for me to be away. haha. privacy? what privacy?! overrated. 
  • I worry so much about nutrition so my daughter doesn't starve.  
  • I rarely shop for myself & spend most money on those oh so sweet baby {kids} clothes. but how can I resist those baby jeans...or the fur vest. or...
  • I have gone out to dinner in my workout clothes because I just didn't care what people would think. 
  • I sometimes eat food that my darling daughter has thrown on the floor, so it doesn't go to waste. 

but now-that-I'm-a-mama I also...

  • know love at first sight. she was loved the moment we laid eyes on her. 
  • love the way her face lights up when she sees daddy walk through that back door after work.
  • adore holding her & cuddling her right before bedtime. 
  • never thought I could smile or laugh as much as I do when I am around my daughter. 
  • make some silly faces & dance like a corn ball just to see her smile. to hear her laugh.
  • have fun teaching her new ideas & concepts. 
  • get so excited when she wears certain outfits that make her extra cute. because let's face it. she's practically my childhood baby doll in living color. 
  • cherish waking up each morning to the sound of her chatting away...and the look on her face when I greet her...melts my heart everytime. 

I must know ---- what are some things YOU do that you never thought you would do before you had a baby?