Friday, October 25, 2013

Pumpkin Patch 2013!

Posted by Andria at 8:04 PM 1 comments



As a family who strives to constantly experience fun & exciting new things together on a monthly (and yes sometimes weekly basis), we are huge on instilling the importance of tradition within our children. Though some things we may tweak & change throughout the years, most of our traditions remain just that, traditions! One which we all love and Aizlynn especially looks forward to doing every year is our family trip to the pumpkin patch! This year, as with every year, we had a wonderful time. Now that Aubrey's a little more aware of her surroundings, it was even more fun this year getting to seei her reaction to ALL THOSE PUMPKINS! 


 This kid would laugh & squeal until it came time to actually take a pic. Oy..

(("It's MY pumpkin so back off"!))


 Sisters..

Aubrey looks like a baby doll sitting next to her big sissy!

It's amazing to think that we've done this every year since Aizlynn was a baby! Someday she'll be able to look back at herself in photos and have the fondest memories :)


 Now and then! 
..and Aubrey STILL won't look at the camera haha!
Happy fall ya'll!



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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Aizlynn's American Girl Birthday Party!

Posted by Andria at 1:27 PM 0 comments



On August 5th, my "baby girl" turned NINE! How on earth did that happen?! I've been reflecting all month long on what it was like having her as a tiny baby. I will say though, I'm loving every stage of life this sweet girl has gone through thus far. Each has been special in it's own way. Aizlynn has made us incredibly proud and she's continuing to grow into such an amazing girl! 

We had a "mini photo shoot" to commemorate her ninth birthday and also because I knew I wanted to use the photos at her upcoming party. Here are some from that day..



(I die when I see these. She's such a gorgeous girl!!!!)


Aizlynn absolutely loves all thing "American Girl" and decided she wanted that as the theme for her birthday party. I happily obliged but, also had some work to do. It's not a theme you can just walk into a party store and find ;) After some brainstorming & using the ever reliable Pinterest, we found ideas that Aizlynn liked & went from there. This year my mother offered up her home for the party. It was just WAY more convenient with her having a great yard for a bounce house ;)




(Our "big" gift our sweet birthday girl this year was the new American Girl, Saige. Needless to say, Aizlynn totally freaked lol! It was priceless.)

 (..And yes, that is one cake for her & one for her doll. Isn't it the cutest!?)





Overall, I'd say everything turned out wonderfully. I has so much fun planning & shopping for this party! The house was jammed packed with all our favorite people, the food was yummy, the cake was to die for and most importantly, Aizlynn had an awesome day. Hearing her at the end of the day say how grateful she was and how it was "the best party" made it all worth while and she certainly deserves it. Happy birthday to my precious, beautiful, first born princess! We love you!!




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Thursday, August 8, 2013

Aubrey Grace is 16 Months Old!

Posted by Andria at 3:07 PM 0 comments



 I have a ton a great excuses as to why I've taken this long to write an Aubrey update but, I'll just say- I'm a busy mom and we as a family, have a pretty busy social life. Weeks so easily turn into months. Need I say more? ;) I'll try my hardest not to let this much time go by before an update. After all, these posts are mainly for Aubrey & some day, they'll go to her. So yeah.. I have a 16 month old! An amazing, bright, beautiful and terribly funny 16 month old! 





Life with Aubrey...

Life with Aubrey is busy, exhilarating, yes- sometimes even frustrating but, joyous, blissful and beautiful all at once. Aubrey wakes up with a smile on her face practically every day. She'll look at me and enthusiastically say hi- which sounds more like "ha-eeey". We start the day with some quick "nursies" then she sits with her sippie cup & breakfast (a bowl of whatever I've made that day) and then watches one episode of either Barney, Dora, sometimes Super Why. She will only get TV time one other time during the day thereafter, as we are very mindful the amount of "screen time" both girls get.



Summing up a day with Aubrey will go a little something like the following- Of course I'm not accounting for days that include play dates or outings and such.. Aubrey spends the day alternating between pulling things out of cabinets (oh joy), "singing", playing with her big sis, asking to go "UP" with Mommy (a lot), "dancing", emptying entire bins of toys on to the floor, napping, nursing or demanding to be nursed, having one on one playtime & story time with Mommy, eating and getting outside time. She'll go through this cycle at least a few times until Daddy gets home. Then it's time with Daddy and we start her bedtime routine. In between all of that she's lighting up every room she toddles into, constantly making us laugh and keeping us thoroughly entertained. Life with Aubrey is just plain fun..




At 16 months old Aubrey...

Has had her very first trip to the beach! Hence all the beach pictures ;) She absolutely loved every second of it!

Has added new words to her vocabulary such as- two, nine (it's all she'll say when we're practicing counting), nice (nigh), yay, dance (dah), "night-night" (nigh-nigh), no, oh no, shoe (mostly just get's out the sh sound), play (pay), kitty cat ( key-cah), nose, (nah or noh), toy, ball (bah), bye, bellybutton (bidy-but lol) and finally her name! Sounds like "Aubee" and it's just the cutest!

Is a dancing machine! She'll look for ANY reason to do it even if there's no music on.

Can now sign "please" although I'm still working on getting her to do it more consistently.

Is still nursing (GO US!) however, we're at about half the amount of times per day than before. Something I'm actually very happy about. Ya'll don't even know 0_o.. Another post, another day..

You know those toys that have shaped blocks with either a box or in our case a picnic basket with the corresponding shaped holes? She's finally starting to put some of the shapes into the right holes. Only the square & circle so far but it seemingly took her forever to start "getting it".

CAN FINALLY BEHAVE IN RESTAURANTS!! THIS IS HUGE PEOPLE!! This started at about 15 months & we could NOT be happier about it. Before, it was a very rushed experience that had me and Jeff taking turns eating while the other paced the restaurant with her, gave toys, food or anything to keep her calm. Sometimes even having to step outside with her. Not a very relaxing time but like I said, we are SO happy to be able to truly enjoy eating at restaurants STRESS FREE now! Aubrey, Mommy & Daddy thank you profusely!

Is such a water baby. Pools baths, splash pads, you name it- she loves it!

Can tune you out like none other! If she's focused on something, you can practically yell her name & she will NOT look at you. Sometimes it's funny until she's running off and you need her to stop.. Yeah..

Is in 12 month clothing perfectly. Not t0o big, not too small..  And on that note, she can still fit in sz 2 disposable diapers! She's a small-fry ;)

Gives such tender hugs & kisses. OMG.. I die...

Really loves being around other babies. Especially at our playdates & church.

Has become best buds with Daddy ;) She now wants him almost as often as she wants me. BIG CHANGE there!

Is demonstrating that she understands what to do with certain objects like- If she has a brush, she'll try to brush her hair. If she finds a bow, she'll try to stick it on her head. If she finds a marker (cap still on), she'll try to "color" on a paper and (yes, this next one is gross) but, if there's a cotton swab in the trash, she'll dig it out and try to stick it in her ear lol! It's nasty but, it also shows that she understands ;p

Sweet baby girl, as you can see, Mommy is SO proud of you- I can go on and on AND ON just talking about every adorable thing you do! You are at such a fun stage of life, just trying to figure out how this crazy/interesting world works and we just love watching you do it. I love you baby!
























Wednesday, June 19, 2013

This One's For Jeffery..

Posted by Andria at 12:19 PM 0 comments




In light of Father's Day having come and gone recently & also my dear hubby Jeffery's birthday coming up very soon, I felt the need to dedicate a post just to him. That and also the fact that I haven't blogged in forever! I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to brag for a moment about this amazing man..

Jeff has grown so much in the past few years, personally, spiritually and the list goes on. He has dedicated himself to everything that would and could better himself, his career and life in general & it's been very inspiring watching him do it. He works full time, takes collage courses, is working on certifications separate from those collage courses (as they are necessary for the specific IT career path he's chosen). Through all this he still finds makes time to take us out, be there for almost all of Aizlynn's "Mpact Girls" events, volunteers to help with certain church activities in the children's ministry like "JBQ" and never ever complains about helping me with the baby or any household things I didn't get to. I'm not a "religious" person but I know wholeheartedly that all this came about once Jeff started putting God first in his life. I have always loved him unconditionally and he's always been a blessing in my life one way or another but, I am so very proud of the man he's become. He's definitely been like wine, better with age!



I'm so blessed to have him as the love of my life and the father of my children.. He is not afraid to get his hands dirty and change a diaper, he doesn't hesitate to show his silly side to get a laugh out of his girls, to answer questions that some fathers might feel uncomfortable answering, to wipe little noses as well as tears and yes, to even say I'm sorry to his children when need be.. He is amazing. Happy Father's Day (again) and Happy birthday to my love and the best Daddy our beautiful girls could ever have!





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Sunday, April 7, 2013

Breastfeeding to Twelve Months: We did it!

Posted by Andria at 8:51 PM 0 comments

Achieving goals..

I can't tell you how proud I am to be writing this post! Mine & Aubrey's breastfeeding journey did not start of easy but, as mentioned in a previous post, we were thankfully able to overcome the hurdles and successfully establish breastfeeding. It was a huge deal for me and I wanted to create realistic goals for myself as we went along in this process. At first, I was just praying to God that we'd get in at least a month lol! Then once that passed I said "Ok, let's try to make it six months". After that I was very confident in setting a one year goal of breastfeeding and here we are PAST the twelve month mark!



A twelve month old nursling.. 

At one year old, nursing Aubrey has definitely been different! Out with the tiny newborn that would just lay in the crook of my arm and in with the squirmy, wiggly nursing toddler! Honestly, I have to just laugh it off ;) Aubrey has become very vocal and demanding when it comes to nursing and yes it is very obvious in public what she wants lol! She does quirky things these days that we've jokingly labeled. Like when she thrusts her face back & forth on my chest while I'm holding her we'll say (to ourselves) "Ugh, there she goes with the motor-boating" Haha, classy right?!  And YES, she will try to pull my shirt down O_o .. If I'm changing infront of her and she sees "the goods", she does this hilarious "geek" laugh. Its a cross between the ever cliche TV sitcom nerd laugh & a hyperventilating sound. The newest one is the grabbing/pulling/pinching thing we've simply labeled as her trying to give me a "purple nurple" lol! Oh the things no one tells you.. 

All joking aside, there are still many moments where it's just simple & beautiful. My favorite time is the early morning feeding. The sun's not up yet, the house is still & I'll scoop her up into my arms, lay her next to me in bed, she'll begin to nurse and she just seemingly melts into me. With my arm wrapped around her warm little body, we both eventually drift off to sleep. It's absolutely precious. I know there will come a time where that'll be a distant memory so I cherish those moments.

Weaning?

I'll admit we are actively trying to night wean. I just can't handle the sleep deprivation anymore. It has been very challenging and so far Aubrey's winning the battle! We'll get there though ;) As for Actual weaning, at this point I don't have a set plan for when we'll wean. I've just decided that we'll do what works best for us. If she stops tomorrow, I've already surpassed my own expectations so I would be at peace with it. If we go another six months, that's okay too. We're just going with the flow.

What I learned along the way..

*Gosh where do I begin?! At first, I figured out to my own amazement that NO the whole world was not looking at me breastfeeding! *Note sarcasm* In the 1st three to four weeks of breastfeeding I would hide in a room WITH a nursing cover on & if I couldn't run off somewhere, I felt as everyone just knew I was breastfeeding. I felt very naked. Stupid I know.. Well that's definitely changed lol! I still consider myself to be a somewhat "modest nurser" if you will but, I often times don't even use a cover anymore. Usually I'll tuck myself in a corner somewhere & try to be aloof but, that's about it. If you happen to see too much, well, it's cause you were trying to! That's the motto I live by now ;) 


*I learned that deciding on new clothes will be different. Since having Aubrey, I will pick something out based on how easily I can nurse in it ;)

*I learned that when somebody warns you not to let baby get into the habit of falling asleep only at the breast, YOU LISTEN! (This does not apply in the newborn stage) but, believe me when I tell you it will become an issue later on!

*I discovered that tanks with built-in shelf bras will become essential to my wardrobe. No need to buy expensive nursing bras here! 

*I learned that once you pass the six month mark (well meaning) people will start asking every other week when you plan on weaning. This led to the true understanding that there is most definitely NOT enough education, support & normalization of breastfeeding. The fact that I'm still nursing leaves many people surprised.. And I think it really shouldn't be surprising.. It should be considered normal..

*I learned that you will not bond any more with a breastfed baby than with a formula fed baby. As a mother whose experienced both, I can tell you that the love and the bonding was the same. I think the difference for me was that pride that comes with knowing that your giving baby the absolute best when you breastfeed. It is a very special thing but, I certainly didn't love Aubrey more than Aizlynn..

*Now this is my own opinion but, I learned that breastfeeding can be tough. Once again, as a mom whose done both, I feel that (wait for it) formula feeding is easier. (Ducks for cover)). There is something very self-sacrificing about breastfeeding. VERY. In our case, Aubrey quickly began to hate bottles so there was no handing baby off so someone else can feed baby. However (and that's a big however) I would do it again & again because it's also been amazing, special & extremely rewarding. 

*Most importantly, and this has to do with my failed attempt to breastfeed my first, I learned that I am not broken, my body does work, I am not a failure, I can sustain my babies and I am capable of breastfeeding. For so many years I labeled myself with the complete oposites of the latter statements. Getting to nurse Aubrey has been extremely redeeming and has filled all those holes I placed into myself... Into my self-worth & my self-esteem as a woman and mother. I will never pretend that it's always been something out of a Lifetime movie but, I am SO SO thankful for this experience. Not only has it been good for my baby but, it's been good for my soul..




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Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter 2013

Posted by Andria at 3:51 PM 0 comments



Gonna keep this one short & sweet ;) We had a fantastic Easter Sunday, starting with a beautiful church service and ending with a great family bbq. The food was yummy, the weather was perfect & both my girls were looking mighty precious!














Had to include a "then & now" picture of my two beauties. It's amazing how much change happens in just one year! 

Hope everyone had a great Easter!



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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Aubrey's 1st Birthday!

Posted by Andria at 2:16 PM 0 comments








Though, I spent many days trying to wrap my head around the fact that this sweet, tiny girl is now ONE, I had to put all that aside to get this incredible party together! We had a pretty large guest list & without us asking, one of our very close friends insisted we do the party at her house since it's well.. huge lol! She's such a blessing in our lives & we're so thankful for her. You know who you are- love you guys! It was a lot of hard work but everything turned out beautiful so I'd say it was definitely worth it! There was glitz, glitter, tutus, a bounce house, tons of delicious food and many adorale little girls (and yes, some boys too) to enjoy it all!
I will say that I sort of regret not handling the camera myself as it is a bit complicated for someone who's not used to a dslr but, I was WAY too busy so unfortunately some pics weren't done in the proper camera setting (which drives me a little nuts). Most did turn out very pretty so it's ok ;) Either way, prepare for picture overload on this post ;p



(This cake was not only GORGEOUS but incredibly delicious too. The bottom layer was vanilla cake with fresh strawberry compote filling, middle was oreo with bavarian cream filling and the top was lemon cake with lemon curd filling. Feel free to drool lol!)









I was one proud mommy on this day! Seeing how absolutely beautiful my girls looked and also seeing so many sparkly little princesses running & twirling all over the house brought a huge smile to my face. On another note, I couldn't have asked for better friends to be there sharing this special day with us. Lot's of mama-chat & laughter going on during the party really helped ease any worries about things going perfectly. Even all the Dad's there had a great time! 









( I couldn't get her to put those cute little hands down but her top has a princess carriage and says "The princess is one". )



I'm so happy this day turned out to be a huge success. Yes, I'm aware that Aubrey will never remember this beautiful party but her story & her journey are worth us making this birthday a big deal. We're not only celebrating her turning one, we're celebrating the victory of overcoming all that it took to get her here. Happy birthday little princess. You're worth it all and more!