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Our Baby Turns One Year Old!

Our sweet Ava Mckenzie, our Ava baby, Ava Bava, Ava Mac & Cheese, my little froggy...turns one year old today!!!

And what a difference a month can make!!

I feel like I've only recently become really good at making the most of each day, specifically, her nap times. Did it really take me 10 months to get to the point where I was eager to get things done while she was sleeping?! 

Yes, it did!!!

Know why? Because that's how long it took for her to start sleeping through the night, and therefore, I no longer felt like a complete zombie. She's an early riser so some days I definitely still want to nap, but I'm finally feeling more productive and in control of my days, and I feel like tackling small projects again. Yay me!! During one nap time, I can now:

*Sit and do nothing for a little bit
*pick up the downstairs
*do a little workout (emphasis on little!)
*clean a toilet or two
*shower and/or get dressed
*work on a project

...all in an hour and a half!!

I've gotten really good at cleaning the kitchen during Ava's mealtimes, so that's nice that I can kill 2 birds with one stone! Adding one more mouth to feed (even though its a tiny mouth) sure has generated a lot more dishes! The dishwasher gets run daily, whereas we used to run it every couple of days.

I modified her bedtime routine so that nursing is almost not even a part of it. And then Ava decided she no longer wanted to nurse at bedtime. She would literally laugh at me and turn away! What?! I never imagined that would happen!! So we decided to go ahead and add in a sippy cup of milk at dinner a couple of weeks early so she could get all the calories she needs. 

I have packed up all her newborn toys, blankets, and bibs. I wasn't expecting to feel sad about it, but I was! 

Where has the time gone?!

This has been the most memorable year of my life. I knew what being a mom must be like, but I was not prepared for what it would feel like.

Intense joy.

Intense fear. 
(What should I do? How do I handle this? Am I doing this right?)

Intense love. Such intense love!!

About this time, one year ago, I was in labor at the hospital. We had NO IDEA what was in store for us on that day! I barely remember seeing her for the first time. Our stay in the hospital felt like an eternity, even though it was only 48 hours. I realized the first week with her was such a blur, and at the time I didn't feel like I was in a heavy-painkiller-haze, but looking back, I know I was.

One of the earliest memories of being a parent that sticks out to me the most was when we were at her newborn photography session. Ava was 11 days old. The photographer was getting Ava all positioned for her first picture and she asked me how I do her hair.

"Her hair?!" I remember thinking.

I immediately felt panic wash over me. I had no idea how to do her hair!

It was such a simple question, but one that I was so unprepared for. I was surprised at how it made me feel - I felt like I was already failing as Ava's mother because I didn't know how I wanted her hair to lay. I simply hadn't thought about it!

I think I just shrugged and the photographer moved on with making Ava look like sleeping beauty without missing a beat. I doubt she knew what was going through my head, but I immediately felt relieved that it wasn't a big deal that I suddenly realized that I have this baby and I have no idea what I'm doing.

I have definitely realized that other parents have no idea what they are doing either - we just try to make the best decisions we can. Even though it may look like we know what we are doing, we probably don't. Everyday is a new day filled with new experiences. What worked yesterday may not work today!

Raising a baby is tough, y'all!!!

We are celebrating Ava's birthday at home with family and friends!! I couldn't have imagined her first birthday any other way. We still have family who haven't met her yet and her birthday is only a few days before her cousin's birthday, so we decided to have a joint birthday party...4th of July themed, of course!! I am so happy we get to be at home for this day. She is such a joy, a blessing, a treasure...and I am thankful we have this day to share her with everyone!

I can't wait to watch her eat cake for the first time tonight; I think she's gonna love it!!

We made it!! 
We survived 365 days of raising a baby!!!


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