Thursday, September 30, 2010

Poor little eye...

This morning when Avalyn and I woke up her eye wasn't crusted over like it has been lately, and there wasn't as much discharge. So, we might be getting somewhere. Here's hoping...

She sees the pediatric ophthalmologist in a month from today. He will determine if the blockage is something that needs surgery or if we'll let it unblock on its own. I can't even begin to guess what he will decide. We went in at the beginning of July so he would have given us four months to let it unblock itself. However, in the last week progress has been made so here's hoping surgery won't be necessary.

In other news Avalyn was making progress towards rolling but now she has lost interest in it. Her new interest is grabbing her feet and screaming at her toys. She's babbling so much. I'm not sure what she's saying to me but I certainly respond. :)

She has also started to laugh which is amazing! So far she only laughs when she anticipates something, but I'm sure she'll start laughing at other things soon!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Jogging Stroller

Avalyn went out in the jogging stroller for the first time today! We had so much fun!

I scored a deal last October on this baby, I was all of six weeks pregnant and it was the first purchase I made. I was also really, really scared that I was going to jinx my pregnancy and have a miscarriage because I was already buying things. Yeah, I really am that paranoid. Anyway, I found it for $20 on craigslist, even better it was only a mile away!

It was the green colored one, but the older model.

It needed to be cleaned, but thankfully it's all snaps so I threw the cover into the washing machine, and shined up the wheels and body, and it's as good as new. The only problem with it? It doesn't have a five-point-harness. This is a big deal for me, so I ordered a replacement belt for a Graco Snugride car seat and sewed it into the stroller. Voila! Five-point-harness and a happy Gwen for a grand total of $27. Woot!

Avalyn's a big fan! ;)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Small Successes

Avalyn has slept by herself for the past week. The only hiccups in the week were the two nights we stayed at my parents house. But, she did pretty well in her pack and play. Her bedtime routine has become more consistant as well. Now she is usually in bed by nine and asleep soon after. She is also down to two naps a day.

I can't put into words how proud of her I am. She is the best baby. She's so happy and talkative and she rarely cries anymore. When they say the first six weeks are the hardest, they weren't kidding! It is so worth it though. It's so amazing to watch her grow, but at the same time bittersweet. She won't stay little forever, so I am cherishing every moment I have with her. :)

I should also make note: It was this date last year that I found out I was pregnant with my little angel. I think that's a date worth remembering! My heart is so full!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Once again the carrier saves the day

Well tonight was awful. No other way to describe it. Awful.

Let me start off by mentioning that Avalyn has a pretty good routine going that she sticks to quite well. Usually she and I wake up around 8:30-9:00 AM after Matt sends Keith off to school. She gets a diaper change, washed up and after that she hangs out in her crib where she bats at her mobile while I wash up. When her mobile turns off I bring her out to the living room where she plays on her activity mat for about an hour. During that time I do my homework, which works out perfectly because I read my books to her and both our brains get stimulated. Wonderful! When she's tired of her mat she eats and then I put her in her swing to watch Baby Einstein movies or Your Baby Can Read. After about twenty minutes she falls asleep for her first nap. This is when I finish my homework or clean the house. When she wakes up I change her, see if she needs to eat and then we go on a walk. Around three she usually naps again until around five. Then Matt plays with her while I make dinner, or I play with her until Matt makes dinner.

This is where things went awry. Tonight Matt was playing with her but she was getting fussy with him because he was dividing his attention by watching TV and she knows when she isn't getting 100%. So, while water was boiling and things were simmering I went out to the living room to help out. I got on my knees and tried to shift her from laying on her back to laying on her tummy to play. Now keep in mind, while I'm rolling her she's only an inch off the mat at most. Well she kicked her little head forward and bopped her nose on the floor.

I quickly hoisted her into my arms to see if she was all right. As soon as she sees my face she gives me the lip and bursts into tears. I felt terrible about her face plant and I tell her I'm sorry and carry her around the house for a bit and she calmed down after about five minutes. She was still sniffling though, the way people do after they've cried. You know where you can't really breathe without your breath hitching in your throat. So I showed her the kitchen and the dinning room and so forth, just walking through the house naming things until she let out a little "I feel better" sigh.

Since she felt better, I felt better. I noticed then, that she had a wet diaper so I went to change her. While I was doing that she was cooing and gurgling and talking to me like usual. She even grabbed my sleeve (like she always does) to pull my hand to her face. I went with it like usual, but her little hands must have been slippery from her tears because her fist slipped off my sleeve and she popped herself in the nose. All hell broke loose after that. She was completely inconsolable for an hour and a half.

I tried everything: Shushing her, walking with her, walking and rocking her, singing to her, feeding her, burping her and the list goes on... She never gets this way, even after her shots she was all right. I had Matt check her fingers and toes and give her a once over to see if she was okay and she was. So, I stripped her jammies off her and tied her carrier around my waist and secured her into it, hoping skin to skin contact would help (not to mention that carrier puts her to sleep every time I use it). After about two minutes her sobs start to subside a bit and she starts to chew on my cami like she's hungry. So, I feed her while I'm walking her around in the carrier... ten minutes later she's sleeping.

That carrier is a Godsend! I love it! I don't want to use it all of the time but when something works it works! She only slept for about twenty minutes but it must have been enough because she woke up with a smile on her face.

I don't know why punching herself in the nose set her off like that. Maybe she thought I did it and it scared her. :( I'm just glad today is almost over and we can start fresh tomorrow.

The good news: Avalyn is sleeping in her cradle for the second night in a row. Without having to move the co-sleeper from the bed into the cradle. The co-sleeper is folded up on the floor. Imagine that. I'm so proud of her!

Not a picture from today, but she loves the carrier!

Best carrier ever!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


That will be my "occupation" this year when we file taxes. I don't care much for the title, it sounds so fifties to me. However, I like what it means for my family and me. It means my eight-year-old son can come home after school and not have to be watched by someone else at a daycare. It means my baby daughter can bond with me and not a non family member. It means I don't have to spend a fortune on fuel and childcare so I can work for pennies on the dollar. And, as silly as this sounds, it means I can give my family 100%.

Feminists may disagree with my choice, saying women fought hard so they could become more than just a homemaker, but I feel as though they fought so future generations of women could choose what they wanted. I choose to be a mother and wife. I also choose to attend school so, when my family is ready, I can have a career. As of today, my career can wait. I want to get to know my new daughter and share her firsts with her.

To those amazing moms out there who do go back to work, I think you're incredible! It takes a lot of courage to leave your kids so you can give them the best life. I just wish working moms could see what I do is equally important.

I'm so tired of hearing; "you took the easy road..."

Easy? Right...

Really easy.

I have only left my daughter in the care of someone else for a total of thirty minutes in her whole three months of life. Those were two quick fifteen minute trips while I was in Jenison visiting my parents. All other times she is with me. I have not had a shower that has lasted longer than fifteen minutes in three months. My child will not take a bottle so my husband and I don't get to have date nights. I have to have her with me otherwise she can't eat. I did not take the easy road. I don't think any moms have an "easy road" really. So why do working moms try and make what I do seem less important than what they do?

I love being a mom. Aside from the piles of laundry, it's the best job I've ever had. Even without date night and long showers. It's such a small price to pay for the short amount of time I can spend with my kids while they're young. I just wish people would stop and think before they judge me.

Shouldn't moms (or women in general) stick together?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Keith had his first day of second grade today. Wow! So hard to believe my little guy is a second grader! He came home so excited about everything to do with second grade...

"Second graders don't need their names on lockers because we can remember which one is ours!"

"I get to bring home a spelling test to study for every week. I get to STUDY!"

"Do you know I get letter grades this year? I'm going to get A's!"

Was I ever this excited about school? I can't remember. I'm really glad he loves it though. My little nerd! Just like his daddy. He also started soccer last week and is, once again, very happy to be part of it. I guess the next thing he wants to do is Tae Kwon Do, he brought home a flier and wants to give it a go. We'll have to make sure it doesn't interfere with soccer first, but I don't see why he couldn't give it a try.

In other news Ava rolled over from her tummy to her back and I accidentally caught it on tape. What a lucky accident! I was trying to take a picture and movie mode on my camera was on. Divine intervention? I think so! ^_~

Ready for practice.


..and over!