Sweet Summertime "Friday Favorites"

Friday, May 29, 2015

So, I decided that it was about time I added some "Friday Favorites" to the blog! I am going to try to have a new list every week with a theme! In honor of our first (of many to come!) 95 plus degree weekend up here in the desert, I have sweet summertime on the brain. I am so excited for swim days and water play with Baylee. I know my girl is going to have a blast this summer!

Here are my top five favorites that we either have already or are looking at purchasing to get baby girl through summer! 

We had a few random really hot days, so we have been able to take Baylee swimming a couple of times already. These swim diapers are incredible. I don't know what kind of crazy scientific materials go into them, but they don't swell up with water at all! So, she will be wearing these for all of our swim days and beach trips for sure!

There is a ton of fancy sunscreens out there for kids, but I will always stay true to my Coppertone Water Babies. It's what my Mom used on me, and it's what I use for Baylee. Fail proof! You can purchase it in a lotion and also a stick (perfect for faces), but my favorite is the spray. It's a lot less messy and makes application quick for wiggle worm tots.

We go swimming mostly at my Grandparents' pool, so my Nanny (Grandma) just picked this up for Baylee. We haven't used it yet, but I love it already. It's adorable, doesn't take up a lot of space, and the canopy has SPF protection. I seriously can't wait for Baylee to use it because I know she is going to have a blast floating around. My kid loves water!

Since we don't have a pool, we are definitely in the market for a cute kiddie pool for those hot summer days. So far, I think this one is the winner. I love that it has a little shaded area, and that its inflatable for easy storage. I feel like the normal plastic pools are just so bulky and annoying. Plus, we can take this one to the beach with us and fill it up with some ocean water for Baylee to splash in. How fun!!!

I can't wait to get this mold and give Baylee her first popsicle. I plan on freezing some apple or pear juice in it and just letting her go to town. I know she's going to go crazy! I love that it's the perfect size for little hands so she can feed it to herself. :)

This summer is going to be a blast! 
What are your favorite items to help baby have the best summer ever?

Until next time! XoXoXo

Motherhood and God's Grace

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

 Up until 10 months ago, I used to hate it when people said, "You won't understand until you have children." Now that I have been a mother for almost a year, I have come to the realization that those people were so correct. Until I watched my baby girl take her first breath, I never understood what it feels like to forever have your heart outside of your body. That precious little girl is my heart, my everything. Now I get it. Now I understand.
Every choice I make every day I now make with her well being and happiness in mind. I now know what it feels like to choose to be completely selfless toward another being and to have love so unconditional and so pure that there are literally no words to describe it. Motherhood is the most incredible experience I have ever had in my life. Transitioning into being a mom, however, was no easy task. I was caught off guard with just how hard it would be.
Besides struggling with breast feeding and her case of jaundice, my first few weeks of Baylee weren't so bad at all. We had done a temporary move into my in-laws house to be closer to family, so I had a helper at my beck and call pretty much every day. Then the time came to move back home (about an hour away from our families) when Baylee was about 3 weeks old. Truthfully, I was relieved to be going home. As much as I adored all the help, it was getting a little overwhelming to have visitors all the time. I just wanted to snuggle my baby in peace. With that, however, came the day that I was a little fearful of...my first day at home alone with Baylee as a Stay-at-Home Mom. It's the job I had always wanted, and now that God had blessed me with the opportunity I had to be perfect at it to please Him. I didn't want to screw up.
In my head I had worked out a plan of everything I needed to do to be a perfect mom and wife. I had to keep the house clean and tidy every day, make dinner every night for my husband when he got home from work, and take care of our little girl making sure to nurture her in body, mind, and spirit at all times. Yes, Seasoned Mamas, this is where you're allowed to giggle and snort. What kind of La-La-Land I was living in...I just don't know, but let me tell you, I drove myself insane trying to make my big plan work. 
Along with everything else, at the time I was also exclusively pumping, (thats a whole 'nother blog post in the works!) and had I known how much that was going to run my life I would have let go right there. Of course, I didn't, and pumping just became another one of my job requirements. I was so exhausted from pumping and feeding Baylee every two hours all night long, but I pushed on and reminded myself that this was what I had always wanted, so I shouldn't complain. Luckily, Baylee and I had mostly good days in the beginning, so all was well for the next few weeks. Then I went to my 6 week check up with my OBGYN and was prescribed birth control. The mini pill is what they give you when you're lactating because it's a small enough hormone dosage that it doesn't affect your baby and shouldn't dry up your milk. Well, I apparently am one of the few that is sensitive to it, because my milk started to dry up after only two dosages. I was absolutely freaked out. Not only was I not making enough milk for my baby, but she hated the formula I was trying to supplement with. This was my breaking point. This was when the "mom guilt" officially settled in.
I felt so awful...I was stressed out, starving my baby, and saying horrible, mean things to my husband out of frustration. On top of that, I was so strictly focused on getting my milk production back up that I was letting the house go and cooking dinner was a thing of the past. Guilty. I felt so guilty. Here I was, letting God down after He had given me so much to work with. I was a bad mom. I was a bad wife. I cried and cried for days feeling even more guilty for not being able to keep it together. Bless my sweet husband for putting up with me during those rough days. He stood by my side and let himself be my punching bag even though I was acting so unappreciative. I was so lost and I had no idea how I was going to get through it. And that's when I came across a wonderful little internet read about God's grace.
I was on Pinterest looking for some answers; searching things like "how to be a happy mom" and "how to survive being a SAHM". I came across a pin with the title "What God Expects From Moms of Littles" and it completely changed my heart. It was a blog post about a woman who was feeling the "mom guilt" just like me, but who had realized that we, as mothers, are doing God's work first hand. We have been entrusted with the task of raising these tiny humans that He created into men and women who love and honor Him for all of their days. This is no easy feat, and for doing this He grants us His grace. He knows we can't do it all, and there is no expectation as long as we try our best every day to love our husbands and enrich our children's lives. 
Peace...I had finally found it. Knowing that I had God's grace to make mistakes and to live by trial and error parenting made me feel so much better about life! Now, this doesn't go to say that the "mom guilt" doesn't settle in from time to time (it happens to the best of us!) but it definitely has gotten a lot better. I try my best to do it all, but if I'm tired I nap instead of doing the dishes, and if I don't feel like making dinner I text my hubby asking where we should go for family date night instead...and I try not to feel guilty about it, because raising a tiny human is hard! ;)
So, my hope with this blog post is that it can reach some of my fellow mamas, be you stay-at-home or working, and let you know that you are doing a GREAT JOB and that God blesses you for loving and nurturing His children. In the end, we are all just making it through the day, and getting paid in kisses and cuddles from the most wonderful creatures to ever exist. 

And there it is...all of God's grace...in one tiny, little face. :)

10 Months With Baylee!

Friday, May 15, 2015

So, this morning I got my sweet girl out of her crib with tears in my eyes because she is just. so. big! Our first year together is almost over, and I can hardly believe it. This little princess is so smart, so funny, and more loved than she will ever be able to imagine!

Now that she's really coming in to her own personality, I figured it was time to add some stats to her updates! :)

Age: 10 months
Weight: 21 lbs
Height: 27 inches
Clothing size: 12 months
Teeth: 2 on the bottom
Favorite foods: blueberries, wheat toast, kiwi, peas, carrots, broccoli, yogurt, cheese, and pasta
Words: dada, mama, baba, dog, duck, and turtle
Favorite activities: playing with pots and pans, petting dogs (poor Stella lol), bath time, and anything that involves food
Least favorite activites: getting in her car seat and having her face wiped off
Favorite toys: all of her stuffed animals and her toothbrush...she won't let me take it away and crawls around with it in her hand all day! 
Signature moves: crawling as fast as she can and then looking back to see if you're chasing her, shaking the baby gates, and booty dropping when she hears a song she likes (baby girl gets down!)

She really is becoming miss personality! She can stand on her own for a few seconds now and is getting soooo close to taking her first step. I told her not to rush, though, because Mama doesn't know if she's ready to chase around a walking tot! ;)

We did a few Disney trips this month, and taking her there is getting more and more fun. Whenever we go she is happy and content the whole day (as long as she has a tray full of snacks of course). Her Mimi and I took her to the petting zoo and she was so excited to see all the "dahhhg"s. Try convincing her that they're really goats...I dare you! ;)

Having my little Disney-loving girl is so precious and special to me! It makes me so happy to see that huge smile on her face!

By far the most exciting thing to happen to our little family, though was on April 22nd when Miss Adalyn Sage came into the world! I was so blessed to be able to be there for her birth, and it was one of the most intense and most beautiful experiences of my life. Long story short, Addy wasn't budging past her mama's pelvic bone, and with her heart rate dropping things started to get a little scary. The doctor made the call to vacuum her out, and (praise God!) it worked. She literally popped out in all her 6 lb 13 oz 20 inch long glory! Now she is 3 weeks old and her and my sister-in-law, Jenny are doing great!!! I am so happy to have a new niece, and Baylee already adores her cousin. She gives her the sweetest kisses and gets so worried when she cries...they are going to be the best of friends for sure!

Adalyn Sage, your Auntie Ashlee loves you so much! You are absolutely perfect and I am so blessed to be your aunt. I will always be here for you forever and ever! Xo

Only 2 more months and my baby girl will be celebrating her 1st birthday. It feels like just yesterday she was as tiny as Addy, and yet I can hardly remember it! Time is such a funny thing! I leave you with some pictures of my growing, silly girl! 

Until next time! XoXoXo

My First Mother's Day!

Monday, May 11, 2015

I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother's Day weekend! My weekend was nice and relaxing, and so fun that I kept forgetting to take pictures for the blog! Oops. It's okay, though, my first Mother's Day was definitely very memorable. I am one blessed Mama! :)

Sometimes I still can't believe that I'm this little one's Mama Bear! (Totally in love with my shirt...Etsy of course!) I kept thinking all day long about the day she came in to the world and how full my heart was. I didn't think I could love her more, but I was oh, so wrong. Every day I fall more in love with that sweet, silly girl and her mischievous grin that looks just like her Daddy's. She has given life so much meaning and purpose, and I will be forever indebted to God for trusting me to raise her! Miss Baylee, you are Mommy's world and I love you so much! <3

Our weekend actually started on Friday because my wonderful husband, knowing that he had to go to a clinical for his EMT class on Sunday, decided to take Friday off. He took care of Baylee all day long so that I could just do the things I needed to do. Along with taking a very needed nap and a nice long shower, I also cleaned the whole house! I know it doesn't seem very relaxing, but it really was. I love having a clean house even if its just for a few hours before my two tornadoes of a kid and hubby destroy it again! ;) I even got down on my hands and knees and scrubbed all my tile floors! Go me! It was so cute watching Brian hang out with Baylee all day. They even went to Target to shop and brought me back some Starbucks! They're the sweetest.

On Saturday we woke up bright and early and drove out to Oak Glen to meet up with Brian's parents for breakfast. I splurged and had apple pancakes, which were amazing, and Baylee did her best to decorate the floor with her breakfast! It was totally freezing, and getting close to Baylee's nap time so she didn't last very long, but I was glad we got to visit Brian's mom. After we left, Baylee knocked out in the car for an hour and we drove to my grandparents house where we had some mimosas and tacos for lunch! We also got a visit from my sister-in-law and my still very new baby niece, so I was a happy camper with my newborn snuggles! (She even christened me with one of the gnarliest baby spit-ups ever...Addy you got Auntie good, girl! Hehehe) When we got home that afternoon, Brian gave me my Mother's Day present. I was totally caught off guard with how sweet and thoughtful it was. He made me a shadow box of all of Baylee's newborn memorabilia. I cried my eyes out like the total sap that I am! It was the best gift ever besides Baylee herself. He even did a kick ass wrapping job! Kudos babe! Love you!

On Sunday Baylee and I had a nice slow morning. I fed her her morning bottle and then she snuggled and watched her Baby Einstein video with me for a good 20 minutes. It was just what I needed. :) Thanks for the gift, sweet love. After she ate her breakfast, we hopped in to the car to pick up my Mom and sisters to go to Disneyland! It was absolutely crazy because we totally didn't realize it was the same day as the Tinkerbell Half Marathon, but we enjoyed ourselves none-the-less! We got Mexican food at Rancho de Zocalo for lunch, and then took Baylee on the Winnie-the-Pooh ride (which she looooves!). It was a pretty warm day, so we decided that pineapple whip was a necessity next. Yum! We hung out at a table in the shade for a while, and then decided that we were all pretty over the crowds, so we headed home. So glad we went, though, it was a very magical day for sure!

Baylee's Nonna showing her the turtles!

Mommy, daughter, sister day!

3 generations!

Baylee and her Auntie!

Baylee and her Mimi!

After Disneyland Baylee and I just had a quiet night at home. It was a great way to end my day with the girl who made me a Mommy! 

I hope all you Mamas out there felt celebrated and appreciated this weekend! You are all amazing and so very wonderful for taking on the adventure of motherhood. :) 

Until next time! XoXoXo