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One Year with Ava

I’m 5 days late writing this, however, this has been in my drafts for the past couple weeks. Then, a stomach bug hit our house [which I’m still recovering from],

I can’t believe a year ago, at 8:03 am, I met Ava for the first time. I was nervous an excited at the same time. I was able to hold our daughter for about 30 minutes, and then she was taken from me. I talk more about that here. It was definitely a scary and emotional time, and some of those feelings are still with me today. But here we are, a year later, with a sassy and adorable little ONE YEAR OLD.

This will be the last month of updates, I’ll update periodically at her 15 and 18 month milestones. I’m also pretty psyched that I don’t have to take these monthly photos anymore because let me tell you, they were not easy the last couple months! If you can get a toddler to sit still for 0.5 seconds to get a non-blurry photo, you deserve a medal. I didn’t even try for 12 months because I knew that was not going to happen. If I’ve learned anything in the last year, it’s that the art of distraction is your friend as a parent.

I laid in bed the night before her birthday sobbing, full out ugly crying, wondering where the last year went, how she’s grown, and excited for the future all at once. We had plans to celebrate her birthday on the 25th with all our family, however the bug got the best of us, so I’m excited to have her party this weekend.

A few milestones from the past month:

  1. MAMAMA: She’s obsessed with me and I love it. For the longest time, she was team dada, but she made the switch where I’m the one she crawls to and wants to hold her.
  2. Meltdowns: Literally the tantrums have started.
  3. Introducing whole milk: I was hesitant to do this, as I didn’t know how she would react, but she LOVES it. She’s had it the past two nights and has slept like a baby. Legit, so great.
  4. Sippy Cups: we’ve been working on switching most feedings to sippy cups. She still has her morning and evening bottles, but for the most part, her day feedings are all with these sippy cups.
  5. Pointing: she loves to point at everything, it’s so cute. She is also fascinated with putting her pointer finger on your eyes and touching your eyelashes.

Those were a few of our favorite high moments [minus the tantrum], however the worst moment was this virus she had last week. She had a running nose on Monday and Tuesday, but we didn’t think much of it because 1. it was clear, and 2. she had no other symptoms. They called us from daycare Wednesday saying she had a fever of 100 degrees, so I went to pick her up. She was warm, but she seemed to be in typical spirits, so I gave her some medicine and knew I we would be staying home Thursday. Sean and I split the day where he was with her Thursday morning and I was with her Thursday afternoon. That’s when she took a turn for the worst. Her fever hadn’t gone down with medicine, and we took her temperature and it was 102. We took her to the urgent care and it has spiked to 104.5. I was terrified and she was miserable. They gave her a suppository of tylenol, as I wanted to make sure she got her medicine. All Friday, all she wanted to do was cuddle and sleep. She hadn’t done that since she was a tiny little thing.

I included her milestones below, you can check out Month 1-2, Month 3, Month 4, Month 5, Month 6, Month 7, Month 8, Month 9Month 10-11 here.

Month 10 was a fail.


To Grandma’s House We Go

“This post has been sponsored by MAM Baby. All thoughts and opinions are my own.”

Hi Gals! Today on the blog, I’m getting real. Let’s be honest, as parents, we need a break sometimes. A break can mean anything: a solo visit to the nail salon, a date night, or a full blown vacation with your spouse. Sean and I aren’t at the point where we will leave our daughter overnight [he’s trying for it though!], but we thoroughly enjoy date night.

Coming from a family of divorce, the best piece of advice someone gave me as a teenager [when I was babysitting btw] was to have a date night at least once a month. And as a parent now, I totally see why. Our daughter is only 11 months old, but I can see how getting in the rhythm of Sean taking her to daycare, me picking her up, attempting to eat dinner while Ava is squirming everywhere, and then being too tired by the end of the day, we just pass out. Parenthood is not for the weak. Some days are just plain trying, and that’s just part of the job.

Date nights are fun and something Sean and I look forward to, even if we spend most of the time talking about Ava or missing her. Tell me I’m not alone! HA! Getting ready for date night also means getting Ava a bag packed for Grandma’s house and making sure she has all of her favorite items.

A list of what I pack her is below:

The last two are absolute necessities for Ava. MAM’s Perfect Pacifier is BPA/BPS Free and has an orthodontic nipple that is 4 times softer than standard pacifiers. BEST PART is they glow in the dark to make them easy to find if she wakes up in the middle of the night.

The MAM Anti-Colic Bottle is one of the neatest bottles I’ve ever tried. It self-sterilizes in the microwave after 3 minutes. Plus, its SkinSoft nipple mimics breastfeeding, making it easy to switch between breast and bottle.

These are items that have helped make leaving her for a couple of hours just a little bit easier. If you’ve left your child overnight, I would love to hear your experiences in the comments below. If you haven’t left your child with anyone yet and you’re wanting to, I hope this encourages you and that our little packing list helps.


Motherhood: Month 11

Outfit: c/o Cecil & Lou

In less than a month, we’ll be singing happy birthday to my sweet girl. Although in some ways it seems unreal that a year has passed, her spunky little personality has definitely come out and I’m so excited to continue to watch her grow. Ava is still always happy and smiling and is very much a people person. I missed her 10 month update, due to moving/not being able to find her board, so we’ll just chalk that all up to #momlife. She LOVES to clap her hands and gets a kick out of it when you laugh with her. She is crawling very quickly, pulling herself up, getting into everything, and has stood on her own a few times! She’s still a petite thing at 17 lbs, but this girl LOVES to eat…but only the things she wants to. We had our third ear infection these past two months that we just can’t seem to get rid of. I’ve heard switching to goat milk has helped others in the past, so I might be looking into that soon. I reallyyyyy don’t want her to undergo tubes, but hey, if she has to, we will.

We went on our third trip to Cabo and I’ll just say traveling with an 11 month old is a little harder than a 6 month old. You can read the full recap here!


We just love our sweet girl so much.  She’s quickly turning into a toddler and shedding her babyness, but we are just so so happy we get to go along for the ride.  Ava is like this bright light, always smiling and engaging with others.  So, happy eleven months little Ava Grace!  The countdown to your first birthday is on and we are going to celebrate like no ones business!


Basic Invite: Animal Baby Shower Invites, & Ava’s First Birthday Update

Happy Tuesday, friends! Can you believe Ava’s first birthday is NEXT MONTH. Like what?! Where has my baby gone! If you saw my last party planning post, you know I’m a sucker for planning parties! For her first birthday, I went back and forth [and back and forth] over themes and ultimately decided on one that fits Ava perfectly-  fun, bright, and the life of the party! I actually found Basic Invite back in 2015 when I was planning my wedding, and knew they would be the perfect choice for designing Ava’s birthday cards. Want to know my favorite thing about Basic Invite? ENDLESS OPTIONS.

Lets start out with their baby shower invitations templates. If I was having a baby shower or throwing a baby shower, I would totally choose one of these baby animal baby shower invitations. I picked this theme as a example to feel the quality of the paper, but see how easily the same invite can be for a girl or boy?

Here are a few others I thought were super cute!


And now onto the best part, Ava’s Birthday Invites!!!

Drum roll please….

I chose this template, and fell in LOVE with the design. We are having a Sparkles, Sprinkles and Confetti theme, so think fun, bright, and smiley….all like Ava. The invite, which you can see below, allowed me to change every piece of the card, making it truly unique!

You can even change the font style, size, and line height. Y’all, this is literally made the process so easy because I had a vision in my head and I just played around with the colors and fonts until I found something I absolutely loved.

My final product is below using this template!

Here is what you can find from Basic Invite in more detail:

Almost Unlimited Colors – Basic Invite is one of the few websites that allows customers almost unlimited color options with instant previews online. Once you select a design you can change the color of each element on the card to over 180 different color options so you can make sure the card is exactly how you want it down to the littlest detail. Which is great for all us perfectionists out there! This is what sets Basic Invite apart from almost any other online stationery company and is what we feel is our biggest draw.

Custom Samples – Basic Invite is one of the few websites that allows customers the ability to order a printed sample of their actual invitation so they can see exactly how it will print as well as the paper quality before they ever have to place their final order.

Over 40 Different Colors of Envelopes – Basic Invite is just as colorful with their envelopes as they are with invitations. Customers can choose from over 40 different colors when it comes to their envelopes so that they can make their invitation stand out even before it is opened. And there is no licking envelopes! All of their envelopes are peel and seal so the envelopes can be quickly and securely closed.

Address Capturing Service – Basic Invite offers an address capturing service that allows customers to simply share a link on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other form of social media to request their friends and family’s addresses which will be stored in the customer’s account and can then be selected during the design process. Basic Invite offers recipient address printing at no cost on all Christmas card orders.

Foil – Foil cards are available in gold, silver, and rose gold. Customers can choose flat or raised foil on all of Basic Invite’s foil designs.

What’s even better is that Basic Invite have given me a coupon code to share with you all. Use code: 15FF51 for 15% off your entire order, hollaaaaaaa!

Disclaimer: This post is in partnership with Basic Invite. Thank you for supporting the brands that support the blog!