Saturday, December 31, 2011

December 31st

The last day of the year! Last post of the year! We are enjoying the day as a family! We are all off, and still trying to clean up from Christmas.

Tonight we are going to a friends house, let Ava run wild with their daughter, hopefully wear herself out and then will be home before 9. Yes we are an old married couple with 2 small kids, midnight has not been seen in a few years in this household.

I wish for everyone to have a happy New Year. Cannot wait to see what 2012 has in store for us.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Holding back emotions

Today was a hard day. It was the girls final day at Becky's. Hailey of course only being 2 months old will not remember her short time at Beckys, but Ava is 2 years old with a very good memory. So this morning I dropped them off, didn't say too much, I really didnt know what to say. Ava was so excited to be there. She had been home all week with her daddy and as much as she loves her daddy, I know she was tired of being home. So off to work I went.

The pick up was harder! I had asked Becky to pack up all the baby stuff that she had allowed me to keep at her house. So I took the box of diapers and formula out to the car. I havent explained much to Ava, I know she wont understand much. She gave Becky a kiss goodbye and it hit me. This is the last time for a while that I would be picking her up at that house. I think there will be a time or maybe more times that Ava will go visit with them. She loves the whole family so much. At least I hope so. They are our cousins and will see them again.

So now I am preparing myself for the drop off at the new sitter. So they will start going to my cousins next week. We have visited, Ava did really well, she played, she didnt have a fit. However I did NOT leave. So I am prepared for crying, screaming, and 'I want my mommy'. Everyone keeps telling me they think Ava will do well and I believe she might. She adapts well to different situations. And just as my mother in law told me, "She'll probably be playing within an hour after you leave." All I can say is I really hope so.

So I am scared, nervous, and excited all at one time.

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Thursday, December 29, 2011

2011 in Review

This year has been one of the hardest on me. Well maybe hard on the whole family. It certainly was like riding a rollercoaster and I HATE roller coasters. So you can imagine that I haven't been at my best this past year. I don't handle some things really well. I am mouthy and tell people what I think when I think it. I am emotional. I am one of those 'emotions on the sleeves' people!

The year began with a kick in the stomach. The US Government posted 34 billets for the job I was doing under a contractor. My workplace was like a madhouse, everyone was talking about how the application process went, when we would find out, and pondering over whether we would all be hired or not.

So in February, we found out that I was pregnant. We couldn't have been happier. But by the time I found out, I was already sick to the stomach and knew I was in for it. So the next 9 months were spent sick, tired, and taking care of Ava.

March, the US Coast Guard began sending out the 'Your HIRED' Tentative offers to the 8/9. By April half of the floor was hired and a few of us were waiting. They were hiring groups at a time within their pay period that falls every 2 weeks. The process was slow and frustrating.

On April 29th, I started out on cloud 9, I woke up at 430AM to watch Prince William marry Kate. Tired from my pregnancy and working full time, I still managed to get up, watch all the coverage and then began my way into work. It was a great day. By 11AM all the billets were full. My name wasn't on the list. SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO by June 30th I would be unemployed. I cannot describe what I felt. I went home and just cried on Kenny's shoulder.

I worked May as usual, dealing with anxiety attacks, the stress of looking for another job, trying to eat enough for my growing baby, and going home playing with Ava. By the middle of May, there were lots of rumors that there were people offered positions that were declining. Why would you take the time to apply to a job that you know is LESS money and thousands of miles away from your home?!?! I don't have the answer. But being on the alternate list, I was praying that someone would decline the position and my name would be up. I really like my job and I need to work to help take care of my family. I do not want my children to suffer and not have what they need because I am not working. I don't want my family to have to give up the "extras" because we are tight. One income will just not do it. I have never been one that wants to be the family 'that can't afford it', I want to find a way to do what I want and get what I want. I got my wish. By the middle of May, I got my offer letter. Thank the LORD. He is good and he really watches over us. He just made me sweat for a while.

June, I began my career as a Civilian Government employee. Still half sick most of the time but financially secure. My 2nd niece was also born.

By August, we were getting suspicious that our sitter was job hunting. And we started thinking about our options of child care, especially with two. Just when we thought the stress was gone, here comes another brick wall holding things up. We chose the sitter we did because of family and the environment that our kids would be in. So trying to find another home as welcoming and trusting is hard in this day.

In September, we celebrated Ava's 2nd Birthday!! We also received a new payment agreement from our sitter, we thought all this job hunting stuff was behind us and our girls would be taken care of. Everything was good at this point. After Ava's birthday we just were waiting for Hailey to come. Work as usual was busy, so I was occupied with that. Kenny's schedule was becoming crazy, he was helping a friend work on a house, had classes, overtime, and then his normal schedule.

On October 19th, we welcomed Hailey and began our 4 family household. Life was crazy but awesome. I enjoyed my six weeks off and returned to work in December. I was preparing for Christmas and the holidays with family. Then the bomb hit, our sitter finally gave notice. So with the stress of shopping, travelling, a 2 month old, and a mouthy 2 year old we began looking for a new sitter. Low and behold, we found someone. Another family member. Can you say BLESSED?!?!

So here we are the last week of the year. I am working; Kenny is home with the girls. We have a happy family. At least most of the time. We all have our moments. We've done pretty well sticking together through the thick and the thin. Kenny has been right by my side through all the stress and sickness.

I am looking forward to seeing what 2012 has in store for us. No more little babies. We are done in that department. Sad I know. But Hailey will be learning to crawl, walk, talk, eating food, and hopefully getting on a better schedule. Ava is potty training; hopefully in 2012 she will be in panties and no more diapers or pull ups. The girls will be joining a new family with their sitter, they will meet my mom's side of the family and grow up in the same neighborhood my mom did. I will be changing my schedule to accommodate a new sitter and Kenny will be watching them more when he isn't working.

I don't have any resolutions. I don't keep them anyways. I do hope to continue to grow closer to my husband and my kids. I hope to have more patience for the trying times. I hope to have more time with friends (and their little ones). I want to continue to thrive at my job.

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I want Money!

So over our busy weekend, we made a stop at McDonalds on our way down to my dad's house. This stop was made because it was lunch time, we had been on the road since 1030 and we were hungry. As soon as we pulled up Ava said she wanted 'Fries, please'. This kid loves French fries. As we were waiting on our food, Kenny looked over at me and said, "We eat out too much, but it's so convenient when we are on the road"

Well who knew that our convenient stops would filter into Ava's pretend play time? So 2 days later at my sister in laws house, Ava is playing with her cousin's little kitchen. Aunt Erika asks Ava to make her fries. Ava proceeds to put out her hand and stated "I want money". So she went from playing kitchen and making food to the drive thru line at McDonalds.

What else could we do but laugh!!

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Monday, December 26, 2011

3 counties, 2 kids, and a partridge in a pear tree

So Christmas for the past few years has consisted of us in a car for a couple days. We begin our journey on Christmas Eve at my dads then head down to my Mamaws. We have gone down Mamaws on Christmas Eve for as long as I can remember. Now I am doing this tradition with my girls. It is crowded, more than 25 of us jam packed in her house. Ava loves my dad so as soon as we mentioned we were leaving for 'grandpas' it was "I ready to Go" with those eyes looking up at me. She spent the evening running around, screaming, and belly laughing. There is nothing like seeing your kids happy and watching them play. I just sat back with Hailey, who spent most of the night with my dad, and watched everyone. At the end of the night, we packed them up, already in their pjs and headed home.

Christmas Eve may be easy for me for a few years, as long as they fall asleep in the car and stay asleep while we move them in the house. We easily got the presents from Santa ready and the stockings filled.
(Sleeping in the carseat...she did this a couple times over the few days of travel)

Ava and Emily opening gifts at Grandpas

Opening her gifts at Mamaws

Christmas Day, we woke up bright and early and opened all the presents.

By 8, I was trying to get everyone ready to go for the day, between the girls and packing the bag it takes a good 45 minutes to get it all ready. Ava always decides to run, giggle, and play while I am trying to get her clothes on, teeth brushed, and hair put up.

We made our way to Aunt Vicki's for breakfast, Kenny and his family have had this tradition for a long time and we continue to go. It is so good to not have to worry about breakfast and to get to sit with family. We always have a good time. Ava had a ball, she helped hand out gifts and played with Blake and Levi. This year was a busy year for this side of the family, we had 3 new babies join the family. Aunt Vicki's living room was FULL.

We have been coming back home after Aunt Vickies and relaxing for a while but this year Kenny wanted to stop at his grandparents. However they werent home. LOL. Sooooooo we went ahead to my moms a little early since we were already in the car. With our 2 its hard to be in and out all day as it is so we decided to give Ava and Hailey a break from their carseats.

At moms, Ava had a ball. She opened all her gifts and played with her doll babies. She played and played. Her Aunt Ash came up and she got to open more and then had Ashley play. Mom has been doing her dinner at 2 since her mom, (my nanny), couldnt anymore.

Once we spent a few hours there, and the girls were absolutely worn out, we decided a car ride would be good for them to nap. Hailey had been fussy most of the last hour. She would fall asleep then 10 minutes later be awake and crying. So in the car we went, headed to Berkeley Springs.

Our final stop and last county. We visited Kenny's dad and his step mother's side of the family. Ava and Hailey both slept through the visit. Ava woke up in time for presents and was not awake enough to enjoy herself. She didnt know where she was and there were a lot of people there she didnt know. So we headed over to his dad's house, and Ava was much more comfortable there and Hailey (after a 3 hour nap) woke up. So the girls got to spend some one on one time with their grandparents.

By 8 oclock we were home, Ava had a bath, Hailey ate yet again, and we were settled. I believe the girls had a wonderful day. Ava kept telling me she had fun. She loved being around all her favorite people. She kept wanting to visit the dogs again. (Nanny and Grandpa both have dogs and she is in love with them).

I will say as much fun as this all is and watching her open gifts and spend time with her grandparents is great, the travelling is quite exhausting and hard on them. Especially with Hailey this year, 2 months old and no real quiet time to nap and trying to have lots of people hold you and wanting to eat. But we survived, we have one more dinner today, and then we are done. Today though we will be in the valley all day, and dont have to leave until after lunch. A day at home playing with toys, cleaning up the mess, and trying to relax before returning to work.

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Saturday, December 24, 2011

And the Stockings were hung..

So Christmas Eve is here! It was a very busy day with my dad's side of the family. Ava couldnt have had a better time. We are now home, after being gone since about 10 am and both girls are in bed. I probably should be too. Hailey will be up soon for a bottle, but I am so excited for tomorrow morning. This will be Ava's 3rd Christmas but the 1st which is she understands what is going on, well KINDA.

So "A Christmas Story" is on the tv. Kenny and I are relaxing in the living room while each girl is in their own bed (for now anyways). The house is quiet. I am just waiting for tomorrow to see Ava's face.

Santa has been here.

This feeling is great.

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Friday, December 23, 2011

A Special Thank You

The schedule of a firefighter is weird. All departments seem to do it differently. Kennys schedule is okay, he is home alot with the girls, but still gone for 24 hours at a time. Their schedule is known years in advance. Last year when we received the 2011 schedule and looked at all the important dates, Kenny was scheduled for EVERY single major holiday. I wasn't pregnant then and fully prepared to try to enjoy all the holidays and make them special for Ava.

Well Kenny ended up asking a co-worker (thats actually a cousin too), that is unmarried and has no children to trade a day with him. Wouldn't it be great to be decide that you wanted a day off and instead of taking the vacation time or sick time to actually be able to trade a day with someone. My job certainly doesnt work this way.

His cousin will never know how special this is for us. This will be Ava's first really exciting, kinda understanding Christmas, and its Hailey's first Christmas with us. This Christmas we will all wake up together, open presents today, and begin the travelling together. I cannot wait. I think Ava is going to have a blast.

I think it is amazing how selfless someone can be to ensure the happiness of others. He may not see it, he may not even get it, but I will always remember this. My husband will be here for his daughters and able to enjoy Ava's excitement of Santa visiting.

I will never be able to repay this person back or even express how much it means to us. Its just what they do and they dont see it as a big deal. Many other firefighters have done this many years and until this year we got lucky, Kenny hadnt worked. To be able to be off and with your family for the holidays is a special time and the kids may not remember but I will. One day I can tell them that the reason their daddy is in the pictures is because someone else gave up his time on Christmas for us.

Thank you!!

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

"I Got To Pee"

Sweet music to any momma's ears. Yes we have started the exciting adventures of potty training. I have been very relaxed with it, letting Ava do it whenever she wanted to but not pushing her. Since this past Saturday she has been wanting to go and telling us when she needs to. It is so exciting. She now refuses her regular diapers and wants her pull ups on all the time. She has been doing well, I still am not pushing her, I dont want to make it a 'have to' and start her in the opposite direction. Ava has always been one to do things on her own time, no pushing or shoving, she just comes and tells you she wants to. She gave up the bottle on her own at 11 months, the bink at 25 months, and here we are giving up diapers.

I understand that with her age it can take time before it is 100% and it will take time before she will go a full day without a wet pull up. But yay for the effort she is putting in right now. It is amazing to watch her progress and learn. I am also excited that soon theres a good chance that I will not be buying diapers for two. The extra money can go to something else.

Tonight while I was on the phone with my dad, Ava came up to me, pulled me by the hand yelling "Mommy I gotta pee, come with me", so I took her to the potty and she did. We have been using the reward system of M&Ms however there are times when she doesnt even ask for them. Hoping that her progress continues and soon enough she will be completely trained.

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2 years Today

This time 2 years ago, I began this blog. So much has changed since that time. When I first wrote I told everyone about my amazing 3 month old girl and how proud I was to be her mommy. Kenny was at work, so it was just me and her for the day. It had snowed and I was so excited to be home with her for the day.

This year, 2 years later, I am writing about my spunky 2 year old and smiley face 2 month old. At 28 years old, I can say I am pretty happy with my life still. Who wouldn't be?! I have a great job, 2 wonderful kids, and an amazing husband.

This year though Kenny is at work yet again, I had to work the full day, but this evening here I am, home with my 2 little girls, enjoying my time with them. I am coming up on 30 fast but oh well. As long as my family is happy and healthy what does age have to do with it.

I have really enjoyed keeping this blog; I really want the girls to one day look at it and understand all that we went through to make sure they had a pretty good life. Kenny and I would do anything to ensure that they get everything they need. They can use this blog to determine how geeky I was, or maybe they will think it is pretty cool. Everything they have done is documented, my personal feelings revealed. They will know how much they were loved. They will get to read about my relationship with Kenny. It has grown to a level that I could never have imagined. Our understanding of each other and our ability to work with each other and support each other is a feeling that keeps me going every day.

I am trying to take this to another level, gain more readers, and become a better writer. If it doesn't happen oh well, Ava and Hailey will have this for them. I hope to continue writing about our everyday lives and the adventures that the girls endure as they grow. We have a lot to come still.

O' Christmas Tree

Ever decorate a tree with a 2 year old and a newborn? FUN isn't it?!?!

I have spent 2 weeks decorating my tree. Not all in part to my kids but kinda. First I ordered new ornaments from Kohls and they had to ship to me. So Ava and I began decorating the tree with the ornaments we had. That took 2 nights because we would begin, then dinner had to be made and Hailey would need attention and feeding and a little mommy time too.

So then my ornaments from Kohls came in and they needed hooks to be put on them, while Ava is yelling she wants to help. So I let Ava help, and instead of decorating the tree, she begins playing a game of bowling with the ornaments. Glitter EVERYWHERE!!!

So oh well, this year took 3 times as long for us to get the tree decorated. But it looks great and Ava helped. I hope she keeps helping and enjoys decorating the tree with me. She loved looking at all the ornaments and taking them off then putting them on.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Merry Flipping Christmas

As usual I have been in the Christmas spirit since the beginning of December, and this year Ava is 2 years old, a great age for this wonderful holiday. Hailey is 2 months old, trying to hold her head up, and more aware of the world around her, who couldn't be happy.

Well, the holiday spirit left me for about 2 days this past weekend, when our sitter dropped a bombshell. She was giving notice. After 2 years of watching my precious little girl, she has decided to do something different. Hailey has just become part of the group.Ava has been with the same 2 little kids her tiny little existence on this planet. She has come to love them very much and is really comfortable with them. In a 2 year olds world, there are a few things that matter and I think consistency is one of them. We do the same routine just about every day of the week; we wake up about the same time, do the same things, and then leave at the same time. Ava knows she only gets to watch so much of her cartoons, although some mornings she is a little hard headed about leaving on time.

So Friday, I drop of the girls, business as usual, and she hits me with 'An offer she couldn't refuse'. So our world is rocked, we weren't prepared for this at all. Do you know how freaking hard it is to find private care at a reasonable rate with people you trust?? There is no option for me to stay at home, so I need to have someone that I can trust with my kids for 9 hours a day.So while part of me is saying 'Yay for her, the opportunity must have been great one and I really want her to succeed', the other part is aching for my 2 year old who loves going to daycare and loves the people she is around all day. How do you explain to a child, you won't be going there anymore?? How to make her understand that this is no longer a place that will be steady in your life? 'You don't', is what my husband texted me back when I asked him these questions as I balled my eyes out at work.

As shocking as this change is, I do have to say I was suspicious. Why do you ask? Because months ago, she had to make arrangements for Ava to be picked up early because an appointment suddenly came up. I have been in the working field for over 10 years and am working at my 8th job. I have used the 'an appointment came up' several times to interview somewhere else. It's like the number one excuse to use to get out of work and try to do something else. We have all used it at one time or another. But I haven't heard that excuse for months now so I thought it was all behind us. WRONG!!!

So now my husband and I are working with our family and the other kid's parents to find a great private sitter, and trying to keep the kids together. I don't know if it's going to work or not. So a week before Christmas I am trying to take care of something bigger than the holiday and just really not in the mood for it all. I want my kids to have a second home with someone they love to spend time with. Ava will probably be fine, Hailey of course has no clue right now. I am hoping to find somewhere with kids around her age, especially if the kids she is with now must go to other places and they cannot stick together. I am told this will be harder all around on me than it will be on her. I pray everyone is right about this and Ava just rolls with the change and thrives with it.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

So I am a copy cat

So I have been looking for ways to keep me busy, as a 2 year old and a newborn apparently isnt enough but wanted something that I could do from home. I have searched websites, trying to find something that I can do while the girls nap or after they go to bed. It will be a lot easier once Hailey is sleeping through the night, or at least down to only one bottle. I hadn't found anything that peeked my interest. Than my cousin started sharing a link of her friends on facebook. Her friend is blogging, she is doing reviews, and giving away products. It got my interest. I will be honest, I started researching it alot, I started looking into websites and seeing lots of other moms that blog about their live, but also do reviews. I thought 'hey I can do this', I love blogging, I am very opinionated and I am honest. So I took a chance and emailed my cousin's friend and she gave me a website to start. She told me how much work it will be, and I am very excited about this. I am waiting to see how it pans out, if I will actually do it, and if I feel I can keep up with it. I know it will be easier when Kenny is home, so I am going to try to schedule things out to when I have help with the girls.

So I have contacted some websites, contacted a few past employers/friends, and now am just waiting on approval from a few websites that will help generate more traffic to my blog. So if you know of anyone that doesnt mind reading about my family and hopefully some products will soon be coming my way, please share my site. If it plays out right, I will be revamping the site to include different pages to different interests and I really want to have one page just for my girls so that when family visits they dont have to scroll though a lot to get an update on what they are doing or what we have been up to.

So please visit and play along, it will be fun to see what happens. And if you want to check out the website that helped me make the decision please visit , its a good read.

Clearbrook Park

A park near us decorated with thousands of lights, and made a little Winter Wonderland for people to walk through. It was beautiful and I really enjoyed it. We dropped Hailey off at my moms, I wasnt even trying to have her out in the cold, and then made our way to the park. Ava had a lot of run on the interstate yelling "Big Truck" everytime we passed a tractor trailer. We got there a little before they opened and waited.

They had a walking path to follow and along the way they had little decorations, music, and Santa.

Running through the park
All Smiles!!!

All Bundled up

Milestone: Trying to hold her head up

Hailey continues to improve everyday trying to hold her head up, she almost has it mastered, a week or two more and she will be a pro at holding her head up and looking around. Right now she can do it for a little bit then begins bouncing her head into you and can end up busting you in the chin. It is so awesome and gives me much pleasure to watch her growing and improving.

Fighting Sleep

So at a whole 7 weeks old Hailey is getting notorious for fighting her sleep at nap time. She will eat and be almost asleep then when she is burped she begins crying and nothing will calm her down. So I begin the routine of trying to find a position that she is comfortable and patting her bottom. This seems to help her. I have never seen a child so young just not want to close her eyes even though she is exhausted. At 7 weeks still I know she should be up a little during the day but she should still be sleeping a good bit. She is wonderful at night, we just put her in her bed let her coo and make her noises and eventually on her own she will fall asleep. I guess it would be too easy if the day time was that easy also. I am thankful she loves the swing, sometimes that is the only thing that will calm her down. It can be very fustrating watching her cry and cant get comfortable and obsviously nothing I am doing is helping. Hoping that she gets more used to nap time and will let herself fall to sleep as she gets older.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Working Mom...

So this week I became a working mom again. Most would be crying, upset, and not working but worrying about their kids. Me, well, I have worked since the age of 15, I have always had goals of becoming successful at something in the work field and to be honest working just seems like what I should be doing. So YES Monday was a hard day, I missed my babies, I miss them anytime I am not with them, BUT I do not mind being at work. Yes I wish I could find a job that I could be home during the day and maybe work during naps and after bedtime but that isnt going to happen. Truth is, I like my job. I am good at my job.

The time crunch in the evenings stink the most, by the time I get home, get them fed, bathed, changed, and settled down, its bedtime and if I blink it seems like it all happened within 15 minutes instead of 3 hours. I am getting a little bonus though, Hailey is awake a lot more than Ava was at this age. When Ava was younger than 3 months, by the time we got home and her fed, she slept. She slept all evening and all night only waking to feed. Hailey as of right now sleeps in few hour segments and is awake for longer blocks of time. She does do well at night, goes to sleep mostly on her own after her last feeding and wakes only for bottles.

So far I dont feel too exhausted but this whole working and taking care of them is only 3 days old. Hailey is doing 2 bottles a night and I am thankful for that. I am waiting until we get to one bottle. But I do enjoy the half hour that its just us. No one else is up, we keep eye contact until she starts to drift to sleep, she smiles at me and I talk to her sometimes.

The mornings havent been too bad, I had two with Kenny at home and one with him at work. It's pretty much the same routine except when he is home, he helps get Ava ready and both of them out the door. Hailey isnt on a set schedule yet so her timing is off a little each day it seems. Nothing is done at the same time everyday yet, at least not at home. But she seems to be waking up in between 5-630 and depending on her last bottle determines whether I feed her before we go. When I dont have to feed her, of course, the morning moves a little faster, but this morning she wanted to be fed at 630 and it was nice sitting still for 15 minutes holding her in my arms. Ava is a total Daddy's girl and when Kenny's home she doesnt have too much to do with me in the mornings, especially when I am back and forth from kitchen to living room to our room back out to the kitchen.

The drop off: it can be hard. It really depends on Ava's mood. If she is clingy and upset she can make it rough. I was very emotional during my pregnancy and when she would have bad mornings, I would tear up walking out the door. So far leaving them, hasnt been easy but I have been dealing with it. I have began a routine from the beginning with Ava to help get the jacket/shoes/hat/gloves off and to get a kiss and hug. So when we get there, I get Hailey out of her carseat and give her a big kiss before handing her off to Becky, and then I ask for my hug and kiss from Ava. I havent cried and I am waiting for the breakdown, the emotional stress of it all. It hasnt hit me yet. Maybe it wont. Maybe the second one is just supposed to be easier. I figured it would be a little harder since I knew what I was in for. I think the drop off is easy because of who I am leaving them with and where they are staying. I am blessed for that.


Yep thats how I feel people are looking at me when I answer the question "Are you dreading going back to work and leaving the kids?" That's because my answer is "As much as I love being at home with them, I am ready to go back to work". And it isnt to be mean or that I dont want to do my mom duties its just that being at home 24 hours a day with a 2 year old and newborn and having a husband that is gone for an extended period of time puts a lot of stress on everything you do. And I feel bad for the girls when my stress level is high because I know they feel it and they feed off of it. I give a lot of credit to the ones that can stay at home and are the primary caregivers. My mom did it for years and my dad worked swing shift. Now granted he was home everyday at some time and my dad according to my mom was awesome at helping and did a lot for her still I dont know how she did it with 3 kids. She never got a real break or vacation or even a bathroom break without one of us with her. I dont see work as a break, I am busy, but I see it as a chance for my girls to get time outside of our house and to socialize with other people.

I feel bad sometimes, why dont I have the desire to stay home, why am I not aching to find a way to pay the bills and be with my girls???? My mom said it best, you worked before you had kids and you have worked a long time, you shouldnt feel bad for working, you dont know how to be home all the time.

It feels good to be back, I missed my friends, I missed the work, but then at the same time I am always thinking about my girls and what they are doing, if Hailey is doing something new, did Ava say something funny. I must say I dont feel like I missed a beat even with 6 weeks gone. I got back, got caught up, and am helping my team and friends with files and answering questions.

I guess I will always be torn about having to work and the fact that I dont mind it but I know it will all work out. One day both girls will be in school, will be with their friends, and they will be like 'Mom who?', and what will I be doing to keep myself busy when I have no one at home to take care of. So back to work and trying to find a balance at home while taking care of my girls.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

True Love

It think the pictures will tell more than anything I can write:

A Little Brag...

I am super excited to be able to say that I am below my pre pregnancy weight. Everyone keeps telling me that I dont even look like I had a baby 6 weeks ago. To them I say THANK YOU very much. I dont know how or why but the weight came off so much easier this time than it did with Ava. I am already back into my normal jeans and returned all my borrowed maternity clothes. I am hoping it stays that way. I have a weight loss goal and I am already half way there. I am going to watch what I eat and not snack a lot when I return to work. I really would like to be down to my high school weight but there is no chance of that ever happening again but to get close would make me happy.

6 weeks Already?!?!

I cannot believe. My baby is 6 weeks old already. Where has the time gone? She has gone from this little fragile thing to a little baby that is trying to hold her head up. She is more alert during the day and recognizing voices. I am not exactly sure how far she can see but she will follow Kenny's voice across the room and move her eyes and head with him. It is amazing how much happens in just the first 6 weeks. Ava was holding her head up completely by 8 weeks old and I think Hailey may be on the same track. She is getting stronger each day and bounces her head all around when you are holding her. We are giving her more tummy time on the play mat. At first she didnt act like she was too thrilled about it but now when she is a little fussy, tummy time will actually calm her sometimes. She is now eating 4 ounces every 3 or so hours during the day and at night she can sleep a stretch of 5 to 6 hours and then will go back to every 3 or so hours. The long stretch is nice because I actually get 3 or 4 hours of the 5 or 6 so I am not a total grump in the morning. I have started putting a little rice cereal in her bottle, it seems to help keep her full and make her a little happier. We have had some gas issues with her, changing her formula and adding gripe water has seemed to help a lot more. She still has some of her fussiness but its a little here and there instead of a large block of time. It has helped a lot in the stress department. She seems to be fighting her sleep a little bit. She will eat her 3rd bottle of the day, in the late afternoon, and will cry until she falls asleep. It can be a handful with Ava but my patience has stayed with me and I just work with her until she falls asleep.  We have been relying on the swing more and more. She seems to really enjoy it. She sleeps in it during the day when we are all out in the living room and there are times she will wake up and just sit and swing, watching her surroundings. Ava will go and talk to her and bring her toys. It has helped a lot when I am on my own. I am so waiting on her to hold that head up on her own so she can sit with pillows around her and enjoy playing on the floor a little more.


So Thanksgiving has become less busy as the years have come instead of busier, I have come to like it. This year was Hailey's first. Ava is at a really fun age, she still doesnt really understand what the holidays mean but she always has a good time with family. We missed Kenny that day, one of the few hazards of being married to someone in his field. But the kids had a good time and we spent the day at my moms. One of the best things of these kind of days is that I have a little help with the girls instead of doing it all on my own while he's working. Ava had a ball hanging out with mom's dogs and her Aunts. The next Sunday we celebrated the holiday with Kenny's mom and brothers. Ava had a ball there also. She always seems to have a good time. LOL.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Fussy, Crying, and only a Month old

So the past week has been hard, Hailey has been going through a fussiness that I didnt experience with Ava. Around 5 pm every evening, she begins crying and cluster feeding. She only wants to be held, will not be put down, and this happens during dinner time for Ava, who by this time is usually huffing and puffing telling me repeatly that Hailey is crying. Like we dont know! LOL

Since Hailey's fussiness had become a habit and at the same time everynight, I got on babycenter and google and seen if all babies go through this. I also emailed a friend and asked her if she thought what I wanted to do to help Hailey would work. Everything I read was calling this was 'witching hour' which is a little creepy for a newborn's fussiness to be called this but thats what it is. I read what other mothers were doing to help their little ones and what worked. We were both wondering if this was colic or not, or maybe just a form of it. It makes you feel so helpless to watch your kid cry and you cant make them feel better. Nothing would help, I can say that I am thankful for Kennys schedule but also hate it with her being this needy. On the many days he is home, I have lots of help, he takes turns between entertaining Ava and holding Hailey to keep her happy. On the days he is working, well all I can say is I have evenings I could pull my hair out.

Ava being the active 2 year old she is, needs attention, needs to play, and needs time with us. So holding Hailey for almost 3 hours straight can take a toll. But she has been great. Better than I could have ever imagined.

So to try to cure the fussiness we have tried gripe water. So far day one of it, it has helped I believe. I think also that she changed up her schedule a little, instead of sleeping the middle part of the day she was up and enjoyed the afternoon playing with Ava. Everything I have read says that this fussiness could last a week or a few weeks so I guess it is a crapshoot to see how long we will be dealing with this. I just hope it doesnt last long, after a bottle with the gripe water, Hailey was a happy, content little girl and was smiling up a storm. I loved seeing her smile, it melted my heart. Hoping to see it more than those tears.


So last week I wrote how proud I was of my little girl and no BINK...well this week I am here to SHOUT that she has gone over a week without it. She has had a couple meltdowns and one major one at 3 in the morning, a morning that Kenny was at work so it was just me to deal with it. After 45 minutes I convinced her to go back to sleep and she cuddled up against me and closed her eyes. Only to wake up a few hours later and start where she finished. Although at 6 am it was a little easier because Hailey was up and she soon became distracted with her baby sister and wanting to kiss all over her. YAY!

So over a week later and she tries to sneak Hailey's bink in her mouth every once in a while, and honestly I dont think she is doing it because she wants it, she is doing it to tease me. She will put it in her mouth and run back the hallway laughing, wanting me to chase her and tickle her. After I take it from her and tickle, she gives it back to Hailey without any issue. She has always loved to play, maybe sometimes a little too much, especially when I am trying to discipline her but she is almost always in a good mood.

I am so proud of her. I really didnt think it would fly. I thought it would be the biggest fight in our life. She was so attached but she is doing well.

(Bink Free in a PHOTO)


Sunday, November 13, 2011


Philips Avent Soothie Pacifier, 0-3 Months, 2 Pack
Ava loves her bink. Anyone who has met her knows the bink is a staple in her look.

Well one of the things Kenny and I have discussed repeatly is that we need to get her off of it. She is over 2 and doesnt need it. So while on my leave and she has been home, we have been trying to talk her out of using it. She hasnt used it at Beckys for months on end. As soon as she walks in the door, it goes on the hutch and she doesnt get it back until I come back to get her.

So yesterday for giggles, I took it when she was playing and hid it. She asked for it a couple of times, I replied with "I will get it in a minute" and she would continue playing without it and forget. I was really proud of her. She depends on the bink to soothe her, to calm her down, she had a few meltdowns and asked for it but we distracted her with taking care of Hailey, cartoons, and playing with her toys. I knew that bedtime would be the true test, well she went to sleep without it, very easily, almost too easy. I couldnt believe it.

Today is the second day without it and she is still doing well. I guess we will just roll with it and see where it takes us. I would love to get her to give it up completely. I think that it is helping that Hailey isnt too much into the bink. We remind Ava that she is the BIG girl now and doesnt need it, that binks are for babies. So hopefully I can keep posting that she doesnt have it, doesnt need it, and isnt demanding it.

Jealous Much...

Everyone has been asking how Ava is doing being a Big Sister and how she is liking her Little Sister. Well for now she is doing great. We have been doing everything we can to include her and to make her see that she is still loved. I do get busy with Hailey, and when Kenny is working, I can only do so much by myself but she has been doing good. She doesnt seem mad when I tell her I cant because I am feeding or taking care of Hailey. I ask her to please wait until I am done, and when I am done doing whatever it was, I will put Hailey down and go play or take care of Ava's needs. It sure is a balancing act. Sometimes its hard and I feel bad because I cant do it all at one time and take care of both of them at once, but Ava hasnt made it a big deal.

I honestly had prepared myself for the worse, we are also dealing with the terrible 2's so I thought bringing home baby #2 would do us in. But since day one she has been loving towards Hailey and tells her all the time that she loves her. Sometimes it can be a little too much, Ava will try to kiss her and squeeze her hand to hard, or try to press on her belly or something so we are consistly reminding Ava to be easy and that Hailey is just a baby and cannot do a lot. Ava wants her to play so badly. She tries giving her toys and wants her to take them.

When Ava tries to include Hailey, I try to make it seem like Hailey is there 100%. If she tells Hailey, "I love you" then I reply "Hailey loves you too", if Ava tells Hailey "Bless you" after she sneezes, I tell Ava that she says "Thank you".

I will say one thing, Hailey knows Ava's voice. There are times that Hailey will be fussy and I will ask Ava to talk to her and give her kisses. Once Ava is beside her Hailey will quiet down and looks in the direction Ava is talking from. It is really sweet.

There's only been one person I can honestly say that Ava has acted jealous around and that is her Aunt Ashley. Ashley was over holding Hailey and Ava asked her to give Hailey to me so that Aunt Ashley could play with her. It was really cute and I know it made Ashley feel loved. Emily used to do the same thing with Ashley when Ava was first born.

Ava has also gotten used to Hailey being around her, almost like she's always been here. When she goes to leave now she asks if Hailey is coming and will get upset if she doesnt. I went to drop Ava off at Becky's last week and she got very upset that Hailey wasnt staying. I love it. I thought for sure she would ignore her or totally not like her for a while but she has been wonderful.

I know within a few years that can all change and they will argue and fight and I will be busy yelling at them to be nice to each other but it has made the transition a little easier with Ava not being so difficult during this process. So I love that I can answer people when they ask, "Ava loves her and helps take care of her and is a great big sister"

Maternity Leave

My leave is half over, yea sad I know. I has went very quickly. Before it began I had a list a mile long that I wanted to get done while I am home. Well so far I have actually completed a little bit of the list, more than I thought I would get done. I had figured Hailey would sleep most of my maternity leave, which so far she has and Ava is old enough to play while I clean or even help a little. I am going to miss not having the time to do the housework whenever, I will be back to doing as much as I can on Saturdays. It has been wonderful being home when Kenny is home also. His schedule is pretty horrible when I am working 8 hours of his day off then the evening is busy with dinner, baths, and some play time with Ava. Now well have everything times 2 in the evenings, which has been a blessing but I know it will make for a fast and busy evening.

I am thankful to have the time off that I do. I know some people dont, if we couldnt afford it for any reason, I think right now I am in a position to return to work. I sit at a desk so not much stress on my recovery but yay for being home with my girls. It's been a little stressful with a challenging 2 year old, 24 hours a day but as much as Ava drives me crazy, she melts my heart.

It has been nice, I have been able to keep up on laundry, the dishes, and cleaning up after Ava, (well to a point, you can only clean up toys so much before it gets old).

The next couple weeks of my leave is going to be busy, Kenny will be hunting, so a little more time with the girls on my own, and we have Thanksgiving. We have like 2 to 4 dinners depending on who is cooking and that means traveling in cold weather. Yuck! Then before I know it, it will be that sad time to return to work.

I am hoping to finish a few more things on my list before I do return to the working mom category. I want to organize the handmedown totes a little more, I have to switch out Hailey's clothes already, she has growing out of newborn and moving to 0-3 months quickly, I want to begin my Christmas shopping, I need to exchange diapers, and I want to put the tree up and decorate for the holidays.

Well see how much I actually get done. I basically have 4 days with Kenny's work schedule, anything I want done with a little help will need to be done while he is home. I hope to do my shopping solo. I havent been out on my own with energy and no big belly for a while. It will be nice to walk through a store and not get winded or have to go to the bathroom a million times.

So I hope to complete as much as possible all the while taking care of my girls and giving them as much attention as I can. We'll see what happens, so far I have been taking it day by day and seeing how I feel, Ava's mood, and how Hailey sleeps before I make any decisions.

Monday, November 7, 2011

My Husband

I know I have a lot of posts bragging about Kenny, but I cannot say enough about how much he has been there for me. These past 2 weeks, he has been incredible. First, he took great care of me and Hailey in the hospital, making sure all our needs were met. Then he worked it out to have 2 weeks at home with us while I recovered. The first 4 days at home were all him. He was taking care of himself, Ava, and Me. My only job was taking care of Hailey. He was helping me get up, get down, get dressed, and fed all of us. He kept Ava busy so that she wasnt too bored while I couldnt do much. He would take her here and there with him and allow me some time to rest.

As I began to heal, he began working on projects around the house, but was never far away if I needed him. It was wonderful having him home. We got to spend some time together and have family time which was needed. Ava really needed both of us here in the beginning to make sure she understood she was still important too. And I think him being home with me really helped with that. When I couldnt give her attention, he did. He also helped with her understanding of my surgery "boo boo" and she needed to be careful and easy around me and Hailey.

He's now back at work. It is coming with some adjustments because I am used to that extra hand. Now it is all on me for at least 24 hours until he comes home. I am just happy that my recovery went fast and is progressing well. Soon hunting season will be in full swing and even when he's off he wont be here, so Ava and I will be good to go with his help in the beginning of all this. I am pretty happy with life and I owe a lot of it to him. And he is such a great daddy.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


So Ava's 3rd Halloween was fun! She was a little lion and did a great job trick or treating at our church's trunk or treat. She went on a hayride and played with her friends for a while before we made our way back home. Hailey, shy of 2 weeks old, slept in her carseat the entire time. I loved being well enough to be able to go and watch Ava enjoy Halloween.