Friday, February 26, 2016

Project 52 | Week 7

It's a rare occasion when I am actually in pictures from my DSLR. It's also a rare occasion that I get to snuggle this sweet girl like this. She likes to be held when she sleeps, but rarely lays on her stomach like this. I was loving every minute. Thankfully, John picked up my camera and got a couple shots of us- me and my girl.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Friday, February 19, 2016

Project 52 | Week 6

Posting a little late, but during week six Avery turned 3 months old! I've been trying to stay on top of her monthly pictures, which you can see in the previous post. Landon is always nearby when I'm photographing Avery, and always jumps in for a few with his baby sister. He refuses pictures by himself but is so cooperative if he's getting to take a picture with Avery. Crazy child.

The gang's all there! He insisted Elephant and Bunny be in the picture also. Side note- we are super original with our names for toys aren't we?

Avery Kate | 3 Months

Here we are again. Another monthly milestone for our sweet doodle bug who is currently taking her first legitimate nap in her crib. Three months old.

The past four weeks have been challenging, but really sweet at the same time. I think that's just life with a baby, or kids in general. The days are full of highs and lows, giggles and tears, joy and frustration all at the same time. Being a parent, its the biggest challenge and the biggest blessing in the world. Everyday Avery has more and more personality. She's serious, and always has a furrowed brow when she's looking at things and taking in her world around her. But then she'll lock eyes with you and the biggest sweetest grin in the world will come across her little face. Her eyes squint and her cheeks get puffy and it completely makes me melt every time.

Avery weighs 12 pounds 1 oz. She is in size one diapers and 0-3 mo clothes. Some 3-6 month outfits but they're still kind of big on her, but she's officially in 3-6 mo sleepers. She has chunky little thighs that I could kiss all day long and the bluest eyes ever. I'm hoping they stay blue just like her brother's. I never dreamed I'd have blue eyed babies, but I love it!

She still nurses every 2-3 hours, and is taking 4-5 ounce bottles when she's not with me.  She's consistently inconsistent with her sleep still. She's napping better during the day and seems to have a couple short 30 minute to 1 hour naps, and then one long 2-3 hour siesta in the afternoon. Nights are always a challenge. One week she will sleep great and go 6 hours at night, and then we go through a stretch of her waking up every 3 hours like clock work (which we're currently experiencing). Maybe its her three month growth spurt? Who knows. If there's anything I've learned having two babies, its that no two weeks are the same. They are always changing, always growing, and always keeping me on my toes. Just when you think you've got something figured out a growth spurt happens, or she figures out something new and we're back at square one. We're just trying our hardest to be consistent with her and get her in bed early so she can learn to sleep longer stretches. I've thought about moving her from our room into her own room, but just don't have the guts to do it yet. I'm afraid the first night I do, I'll climb the stairs 40 times and not get any sleep. I've considered camping out in her room if I need to to get her used to her crib, and I've also considered moving her crib into our room so she's at least not sleeping in the swing anymore. Selfish, I know. We'll get there eventually!

Avery loves bath time, the lights on her play mat, her brother, and her swing. She is getting better with tummy time. She likes to be held, but isn't much of a smuggler if that makes any sense. She likes to be carried facing out so she can see whats going on. She still fights sleep, but we're getting a lot better and she's finally taking the pacifier better. Swaddling, swinging, and the pacifier seem to be her trick 75% of the time. The other 25% we're still clueless and have no clue what she wants. We've  tried gas drops, colic drops, gripe water, and reflux medicine and nothing seems to be the magic we'll just continue to fly by the seat of our pants and figure her out day by day. :)

I love nothing more than seeing this sweet girl grow and change and her sweet personality come through more and more each day. I remind myself daily to soak it in, love every ounce of her and hold onto each day because they are going by so incredibly fast. They already are!

We love you sweet Avery!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Project 52 | Week 5

Here's the thing about having a four year old boy in your home....the refrigerator probably stays open more than shut. There are always wrappers and bowls and plates and other eating utensils laying around. And he is always, always hungry. I have no idea how I'm going to keep him fed when his a teenager, because he eats constantly already. He's more of a grazer, than a meal person, which isn't so great. He also thinks its super cool because he can get things out of he refrigerator by himself. (see above...)

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

back to work

Yesterday was my first day back to work at the cancer center since having Avery. It went really well, and as hard as it is to leave your baby at home- I needed time out of the house, and needed to feel like something other than a milk source, maid, cook, etc. Whats even better? I'm not going back to work full time! I am so excited and thankful that I was able to make a change from being a full time nurse to a PRN position, which means that I will have more time at home with Landon and Avery, and only work one or two days a week. I guess I fall into some weird category of working mom and stay at home mom both, depends on the day. 

When I went back to work after having Landon, I really struggled with leaving him. It never felt "right" and I never really got used to it. The twelve hour shifts and 45 minute commute wore on me, and I felt like I spent my days off recovering from working such long hours and waking up so early. I was waking up at 4:30 so I'd have time to pump and get ready for work and get to the hospital by 6:30. It was a level of exhaustion I didn't know existed.

I was unhappy, and quickly started searching for new jobs. I needed something that would allow me to be a nurse and a mom, because both are important to me. Deep in my heart I just new I needed to make a change. I applied for several positions and I even interviewed and was offered a new position at a different hospital. I turned it down because something about it just didn't feel right. I feel like I very clearly heard the Lord telling me to wait, that He had it under control and had a plan. As hard as it was and as much doubt as I may have had,  I knew I needed to wait for God to open the door and show me which way was best for me and for my family.

A few months later, an former coworker of mine contacted me about a clinic position not far from our home. It was the answered prayer I was hoping for. Just before Landon turned one, I changed jobs and transferred to the cancer center here in Lexington. I went from working three twelve hour shifts to working normal 8:30-5 hours with half days on Fridays, no weekends and no holidays. It was such a needed, and great change for us. I was able to drop Landon off in the mornings and pick him up in the afternoons. I was home every night and didn't miss bedtime or bath time like I did when I worked at the hospital. And every single weekend was free to spend as a family. I still cannot get over how the Lord provided for us and made that happen.

Fast forward to this past November and we welcomed Avery. I knew I wanted to make a change, yet again. I wanted to be at home more, but also wanted to continue working and keeping my skills and knowledge up to date. I love my job, I love being an oncology nurse, and I also really love my kids and want to be there for every moment I can with them. After three years working in the clinic, they graciously agreed to let me go to PRN/as needed. My goal will be to work one day a week, more if I can, and less if I can't. The rest of the time I  am with my kids, at home, where I have always wanted to be. It truly is the best of both worlds. I get to love my patients and still be in a job that I love, while being a stay at home mom. Can I tell you how incredibly lucky I feel? There really aren't words to say how grateful I am that the Lord perfectly orchestrated my life for me. He saw the big picture when I didn't, he knew Avery would exist before I did. He opened the right doors at exactly the right moments when I needed it, and I didn't even know it at the time. I get to volunteer and be at Landon's preschool activities. I get to be home for these fleeting days that Avery is a baby, and I also still keep my foot in the nursing world and oncology. He is good.

Sometimes in life the Lord works in ways that you really can't do anything but sit back and smile over. He knows our hearts and our desires so much better than we think. And He is constantly working for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28), those who have faith in what He is doing, and who ultimately trust that He's got it. And I love that. All the tears I shed and prayers I spoke were not unheard. I'm not going to pretend that I was perfect throughout this entire process. I cried and doubted and sometimes flat out wondered if God even heard a word I was saying. But He did... 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Project 52 | Week 4

Last week we ended the month of January with a trip to the North Carolina Zoo. At the end of last year when my mom asked for gift ideas for Christmas and birthday, I mentioned that I'd love a family pass to the zoo so we can get outside whenever and have a "free" activity to do through out the year since I will be staying at home more. Last Sunday was the perfect day to go- it was in the mid-sixties and not crowded at all. It is so good for us when we can get outside and be active, and let me tell you, walking the entire zoo in three hours is quite a work out. John pushed Landon in the stroller, and I carried Avery in the front carrier. We were worn out!

It was also the first time I really got to use my new toy- the Nikon D750. And I'm in love. Here's just a couple from the zoo.

This weekend was the first weekend the zoo had its new polar bear on exhibit. When we first walked through she wasn't doing anything but pacing back and forth. On the way out we stopped back by and she was in the water playing with her toy like a puppy dog. It was pretty neat to watch. I couldn't get up to the glass to see, but managed to get this shot of the crowd watching her play. 

I definitely think our zoo pass will be well loved this year- we had such a great day as a family, and Landon already wants to go back. 

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