Monday, June 29, 2015

Avelynn is 2 months

Written 1pm, June 17th.
Our little Avelynn is 2 months old today (and 8 and a half weeks)! She has grown to 9.14lbs (almost 10 pounds!) and is 23 inches long (that’s 3 inches of grown!). She’s become a great little smiler – it’s so fun to watch. Also we saw her giggling for the first time this week – it was so awesome. She’s also rolled over successfully twice now! Woot. She still breastfeeds like a champ – she eats every three hours like clockwork. She’s also (thankfully) great at taking a bottle. She also sleeps pretty well – she eats at 8pm and then sleeps until 4am, eats again and then sleeps until 8am when I start her day feeds.  She’s a pretty chill baby and has most are people in love with her – which feels pretty nice.

Having a baby now seems a lot less overwhelming and a lot more do-able. I’m finding I’m enjoying the whole thing a lot. Yes, at times it can still be overwhelming and I wish I had more time to blog and stuff but that aside I still do feel like I’m getting the hang of it – dinners made, laundry done, bed made….well sometimes they are.

My body is feeling normal again – basically I feel pretty much the same as before I had a kid, minus the continued breastfeeding. I haven’t found that breastfeeding melts the pounds off the way some people experience….which is disappointing. In the first three months of pregnancy I lost 18 pounds by cutting out wheat and white rice – I gained some back with pregnancy obviously but still came out of below what I’d started as. I think I’ve gained a bit more back but mostly am still below where I was.

Avelynn's "swimsuit" and swim diaper and her sweet outdoor napping tent

Parenthood has been a real learning curve – some tings are crazy steep learning curves and yet other parts are very normal or super enjoyable. Definitely it’s not something one would enter in to lightly and it really makes me understand why God suggests for sex to stay within marriage – it feels like parenting really needs two committed loving partners. I can’t imagine doing this without a supportive “all in” partner who also thinks I’m lovely. These all seem vital to parenting without going crazy. What is also vital is having a cute kid. Like this one.

See? Super cute.

Drinks at Starbucks with mom

Drinks at Starbucks with Dad

All smiles for the car ride

Pensive summer baby

It's fun to play in bed with mom and Dad

Asleep on a hot sunny night in her tent, on her ergo insert

With some of the babies from pre-natal class. As the youngest she had no idea there were even other babies there to play with, all while Elinor kept trying to hold her hand. 

Oh baby, you're a sweetheart.
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Friday, June 19, 2015

Avelynn's second photo shoot

We're currently away on family vacation - oh the joy. It's been nice and warm and we've been relaxing in the sun. Loving it! Time away finally gave me time to do a little blogging! 

On top of my fabulous first set of newbornphotos by my friend Laura, I also had the opportunity to have a photo shoot for Avleynn with my old college friend Sherri. Sherri was my roommate in Nanaimo during school and a friend over the years – she has a baby herself (9 weeks older than Avelynn) and was a photographer already (Sherri Preston Photography), branching into newborn photography now that she has a newborn herself. She came out from Langley to do a shoot with us and she captured Avelynn beautifully!  Sherri made the time so pleasant. She was great at capturing Avelynn and did not get phased at all when tears were present. She had a great soothing presence with her and she had a great artistic eye. I’m so pleased with how these came out – Avelynn is a beauty!

Through the slats

Another reason I love these photos is that we had them done when Avelynn was just over a week old and my Auntie Sandy was still with us. She had come to stay with us from the night we got home from the hospital until the following week to help and BOY was she helpful. I couldn't have imagined that first week without her; she cooked and cleaned, and made tea, and talked through moments and rocked with Avelynn and made sure that each night we got at least 4 straight hours of sleep. She was so helpful in practical and emotional ways. Auntie Sandy is like a second mom to me and I'm so so thankful for her. And I'm so glad we got to capture that with this photo. 

Thanks Sherri! I love them!
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Monday, June 1, 2015

Menu Plan Monday, June 1st

Menu Plan Monday with Laura at Org Junkie

Upcoming week: 

Monday: Costco Chicken Curry with steamed veggies
Monday is a work around the house day, as much as is possible with a baby. I'm cleaning up after the weekend and getting ready for the week ahead. Also a thrilling Costco trip will be in my future for this day. 

Tuesday: Casserole (sent by Carrie M)

Tuesday I try to walk with my sister and my parents and will keep trying to truck away at some organizing around the house. 

Wednesday: Man Pleasing Chicken, potatoes & veggies
Wednesday we are having a going away dinner for one of our former students, Gwen. She goes back to France on Thursday. We'll have a couple people over for dinner with us and will wish her many fond farewells. And we will have ice cream cake :)

Thursday: Chicken Taco Soup (sent by Lindsay)

Thursday we are out for dinner so I'm going to pop this into the crockpot for our students to enjoy and it will make excellent lunches or meals while Paul and I are away over the weekend (and for us to eat Friday). 

Friday to Sunday: YOYO (You're on Your Own)

This Weekend we will be in in my hometown, Port Alberni, to pack up my Grandma's things. She's moved into a home so we are helping the family prepare her house. It will be the first time we are all together in Port Alberni since my cousin LeAnna's wedding in 2010! I'm excited to go home - I love my hometown. I won't have time to see friends - it will be family family family all the way (plus a dip in the lake) but it will be nice to be there all the same. 

I have been finding it's hard to stay afloat with a newborn since there are some problem areas in the house that drive me nuts! Our fridges and freezers and our linens. These areas are disorganized and full. I want to clean them out so that I know what we have and can access it easily.

Organizational Goals:
Upstairs Freezer - to be used for convenience meals (for students), breakfast breads (bagels, toast, etc), ice, breastmilk (mmm) and Ice Cream. 
Downstairs Deep Freeze - broken into sections for Convenience Meals (for the whole house) and frozen meals (made by me), meat and extra bread.
Downstairs Fridge/Freezer - Extra's
Upstairs Fridge - to be used for most foods
Downstairs Fridge - Refill's & Extra's
Hallway "Linen" Closet - to be tidied (it's not for linens but for napkins and to go stuff and dishtowels, etc. It's been organized previously and just needs a refresh)
Guest Room Linen Closet - gutted, sorted & reorganized
Laundry Room Storage Area - gutted, sorted & reorganized 
*The guest room and laundry room areas will need to be done at once - we have linens in both spaces and we need to sort through it all to decide what needs to be kept and what can be donated to clear up space. I know there's lots we aren't using. 

Phew! And that's what I want to accomplish in the next while! We are away this weekend, then the following weekend we leave for just over a week (family vacation!) so I will need to squeeze bits of this in amongst all of the packing and unpacking. I was away this past weekend at a womens retreat and my goal is to have that bag fully put away by the end of today. Lets see if it happens! If it doesn't I will go ahead and blame this little one...(and I'm totally fine with that).

Avelynn & the morning hang out time 

This little sweetie at the womens retreat - breastfeeding at a conference is fairly painful for my back but at least her face is very sweet

Also there is so much cousin love going on - which is awesome since I love these nephews so entirely. This is Austin reading to Avelynn who, by all accounts, loved it.

Auntie, Avelynn & the best boys around
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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Avelynn is 1 month

Avelynn is one month old! Well actually at this point she's 6 weeks old (this Friday) but I took these photos when she was one month but ran out of time to write this post #momproblems. The only reason I have free hands now is that Avelynn's Auntie Katie is currently baby whispering away with her. So thankful! 

Monday, May 25, 2015

A's Birth Story

Avelynn's birth story is one that I am excited to get down - writing helps me relive moments and man, this is an experience I want to relive. It was a high and nothing and everything like I expected. 

I was due April 5th, Easter Sunday. I was really really hoping she'd come that day - something about the achiever in me wanted to have her on the due date. BUT as April 5th came and went and Avelynn hadn't arrived I was resigned to that not happening. As I passed 41 weeks I was mostly just curious about how it would play out. I knew at 40 weeks plus 10 days (or 41 weeks and 3 days) they would induce me. That was Wednesday the 15th of April. I was hoping to avoid being induced - I hear that induced contractions are more painful and man, I wanted to not have more painful. We did numerous "no-stress tests" and two ultrasounds and we decided to keep waiting to see what we could come up with without induction. 

Things really started Monday with some light contractions - steady but definitely light. They continued overnight (though I could sleep through them) and through Tuesday steady but not super painful. By the evening though they were starting to feel more painful - we walked with the Maxwell's and had DQ. Walking with our family helped the spirits and the DQ was just nice. Then Paul and I headed home and I laboured through the night. By 4am Wednesday the contractions were coming every 1-2 minutes, lasting a full minute each time. We decided to head to the hospital since that was the timing we'd learned to watch out for in pre-natal classes. Unfortunately as soon as we got to the hospital the timing of the contractions slowed way down to 6 minutes apart! They did a non-stress test, monitoring the baby and my contractions (we'd had a few done in previous days) and confirmed that I was in labour but still very early and not dilated at all. They sent us home. 

Labouring in the nursery in the hopes the room would provide inspiration

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Life with Baby

And so life with baby continues. Avelynn is 3 weeks and 4 days old. She is super cute - we are in love with her for sure. So sweet. Paul is constantly taking pictures of her (with his flip phone) and sending them to his family. I love it. 

So far this whole thing is more overwhelming and more all encompassing than I ever imagined. It's wonderful and there are beautiful moments and I'm so thankful to have a baby and a beautiful, healthy one at that. I'm also amazed that people do this single or without support. We have people still bringing us food each day (I haven't cooked any meals since having her), we have had support from so many people and I have an amazing, helpful husband - how do people do it without all this help?

Our time in the hospital was great - the nurses were wonderful. From the Assessment Room, to Labour & Delivery up to the Post Partum ward the processes were smooth and the nurses were competent, helpful and kind. We had family and a few friends visit in the hospital - we tried to keep it to a minimum and that was wise but also we were very glad to have some visitors! 

My Dad & Avelynn

Paul, David (Paul's Dad), Ted (Paul's Grandpa) & Doreen (Paul's Grandma) with Avelynn

My Nephew Connor (and the rest of his family visited too)

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Avelynn's Nursery & Newborn Photo Shoot

As I mentioned a few days ago our sweet baby girl, Avelynn, is here! She's a red head just like her daddy and has captured our hearts in crazy and awesome ways. And on top of that I get to finally see her in the nursery I made for her. It's such a joy to see her in the space I made for her arrival. I love how her red hair pops in contrast to all the cool tones in the space. My amazing friend Laura from Paraphrase Productions captured Avelynn and her nursery in amazing detail. She was great at capturing Avelynn and the room - and giving Paul and I wonderful experience. 

Avelynn in her crib (Ben & Noa lattice crib sheet) with some gifted stuffies and a blanket made by my Nana's sister just for my firstborn. I love how small Avelynn looks in comparison to the crib and stuffies!


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