Sunday, January 31, 2010

We won!

Holden was a post of the week winner, thanks to this face!! He is very excited :) Read more!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Men and pregnancy...

Just saw this commercial on tv and it made me laugh!!

Read more!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Motherhood will change your life...

I couldn't have said it better myself, this is beautiful and so perfect.... what it means to be a mother.....

Time is running out for my friend.

We are sitting at lunch when she casually mentions that she and her husband are thinking of "starting a family." What she means is that her biological clock has begun its countdown and she is considering the prospect of motherhood.

"We're taking a survey," she says, half jokingly. "Do you think I should have a baby?"

"It will change your life," I say carefully.

"I know," she says. "No more sleeping in on Saturdays, no more spontaneous vacations..."

But that is not what I mean at all.

I look at my friend, trying to decide what to tell her. I want her to know what she will never learn in childbirth classes. I want to tell her that the physical wounds of childbirth heal, but that becoming a mother will leave her with an emotional wound so raw that she will be forever vulnerable.

I consider warning her that she will never read a newspaper again without asking "What if that had been my child?" That every plane crash, every fire will haunt her. That when she sees pictures of starving children, she will look at the mothers and wonder if anything could be worse than watching your child die.

I look at her carefully manicured nails and stylish suit and think she should know that no matter how sophisticated she is, becoming a mother will immediately reduce her to the primitive level. That a slightly urgent call of "Mom!" will cause her to drop her best crystal without a moment's hesitation.

I feel I should warn her that no matter how many years she has invested in her career, she will be professionally derailed by motherhood. She might successfully arrange for child care, but one day she will be waiting to go into an important business meeting, and she will think about her baby's sweet smell. She will have to use every ounce of discipline to keep from running home, just to make sure he is all right.

I want my friend to know that everyday routine decisions will no longer be routine. That a visit to Mc Donald's and a five year old boy's desire to go to the men's room rather than the women's room will become a major dilemma. That right there, in the midst of clattering trays and screaming children, issues of independence and gender identity will be weighed against the prospect that danger may be lurking in the rest room.

I want her to know that however decisive she may be at the office, she will second-guess herself constantly as a mother. Looking at my attractive friend, I want to assure her that eventually she will shed the pounds of pregnancy, but will never feel the same about herself. That her life, now so important, will be of less value to her once she has a child. That she would give it up in a moment to save her offspring, but will also begin to hope for more years, not so much to accomplish her own dreams, but to watch her child accomplish his.

I want her to know that a cesarean scar or stretch marks will become badges of honor.

My friend's relationship with her husband will change, but not in the ways she thinks. I wish she could understand how much more you can love a man who is always careful to powder the baby or who never hesitates to play with his son. I think she should know that she will fall in love with her husband again for reasons she would never have imagined.

I wish my modern friend could sense the bond she will feel with other women throughout history who have tried desperately to stop war and prejudice and drunk driving.

I want to describe to my friend the exhilaration of seeing your son learn to hit a baseball. I want to capture for her the laugh of a baby who is touching the soft fur of a dog for the first time. I want her to taste the joy that is so real that it hurts.

My friend's quizzical look makes me realize that tears have formed in my eyes.

"You'll never regret it," I say finally.

-Dale Hanson Bourke-
Chicken Soup for the Woman's Soul Read more!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

And a giveaway... from the Maven's personal business... stay tuned!

Ok ya'll so as you know, I own my own business.... and it just so happens to be one that all of us could use and love but I've tried to be very careful in promoting it with the blog because my blog is for my life not really for my business. I already have marketing plans and PR firms to handle my business so other than putting an ad on my page and an occasional mention of a new product I won't bombard my readers with ads for my business! :)

But I figured if anyone was in a position to do a great giveaway it would be me. I do a handful of blog review giveaways a year for marketing purposes and this year I'll be doing a couple with my own blog and with some fellow bloggers.

So stay tuned, the giveaway drawing will be held on Valentine's Day! This particular giveaway is for a Personalized Mommy Tee! You'll be in good company wearing yours, among our fans, Jessica Alba has her very own "Honor's Mom" tee. There will be ways for you to enter multiple times for a better chance at winning. You may make one entry on all of the participating blogs and the winners will be drawn from there. I will have more details soon on how and when to enter!

***This giveaway will be offered to 4 fellow bloggers, if you are interested in participating in any upcoming group giveaways later this year please email me your blog information and I will contact you when I host the next giveaway ashleigh [at] bellabmaternity [dot] com*** Read more!

I woke up this morning feeling brand new....

It's a new day... it's a new day. Thank you Will.I.AM for that bit of encouragement. True, it's a new day, so onward march troops. Time to put one foot in front of the other and keep looking ahead. I will slay the colic beast, I know it, I just would really love to know when that will be. Until then there will be many tears, breakdowns, lots of deep breathing, and LOADS of beer. And somehow in the end a beautiful blue eyed boy and broken and beaten blonde momma will arise from the chaos stronger for having gone through it. Read more!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Music Monday- Chicken Fried- Zac Brown Band

See the love in my woman's eyes
Feel the touch of a precious child
And know a mother's love...

Read more!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

My first time swimming!!

So HL got his first swimming lesson a couple weeks ago and he is a little fishie! He loved the nice warm water and kicked and splashed the whole time. He was a happy little boy until we decided to give him his first dunk at the end of our pool trip... he wasn't too fond of that but oh well he'll get used to it.

I used to teach infant/parent swim classes so I know the importance of getting them in the water as soon as possible. Did ya'll know that an infant will inherently paddle their way to the surface of water? (they just lack the strength to lift their head above the surface) Pretty cool!

So I dreadfully put on my bikini at 2 months post partum to give my little man his first lesson in the pool (which was at a lovely 92 degrees!)

And here's a photo documentary of our first time swimming.... yawning already...

So far so good.... with grandma YaYa

And with Daddy...

And dunk #1...

And dunk #2

Not so happy anymore :)

But we survived and can't wait to do it again!

Read more!

Friday, January 22, 2010

When Daddy has to leave...

This made my day... I have a wonderful husband.... he left me this for when he's away.

I'm Already There- Lonestar

He called her on the road
From a lonely cold hotel room
Just to hear her say I love you one more time
But when he heard the sound
Of the kids laughing in the background
He had to wipe away a tear from his eye
A little voice came on the phone
Said "Daddy when you coming home"
He said the first thing that came to his mind...

I'm already there
Take a look around
I'm the sunshine in your hair
I'm the shadow on the ground
I'm the whisper in the wind
I'm your imaginary friend
And I know I'm in your prayers
Oh I'm already there

She got back on the phone
Said I really miss you darling
Don't worry about the kids they'll be alright
Wish I was in your arms
Lying right there beside you
But I know that I'll be in your dreams tonight
And I'll gently kiss your lips
Touch you with my fingertips
So turn out the light and close your eyes

I'm already there
Don't make a sound
I'm the beat in your heart
I'm the moonlight shining down
I'm the whisper in the wind
And I'll be there until the end
Can you feel the love that we share
Oh I'm already there

We may be a thousand miles apart
But I'll be with you wherever you are

I'm already there
Take a look around
I'm the sunshine in your hair
I'm the shadow on the ground
I'm the whisper in the wind
And I'll be there until the end
Can you feel the love that we share
Oh I'm already there
Oh I'm already

I love you babe :)
Read more!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Twitter- Vote for us on the Shorty Awards!!!

So yea I did it, I set up a Twitter account for my personal life and this blog (outside of my business Twitter account).... if you aren't getting enough of a fix of yours truly then stalk us follow us on Twitter! And when you do that go and vote for me on the Shorty Awards!! It's a special Twitter award!

ONLY 7 DAYS LEFT TO VOTE!! Clicky clicky :) Read more!

Mompreneur Of The Year Awards

Huh... I'm debating whether or not to enter this... but nonetheless I thought that this description was perfect! Being a mom and a business owner is a juggling act, people frequently ask me how I do it and all I can say is that somehow I make it work... you have no other choice! I'm still learning and will continue to learn as we add to our family. My best advice is that you have to set your priorities and have definite boundaries between work time and family time. But back to that description... so true....

Being a mompreneur® takes a special kind of woman. A mompreneur® is a natural-born multi-tasker. She's patient, works well under pressure, handles her workload with ease and manages to get it all done, and do it successfully, with children and a household to look after. Read more!

Saying a prayer...

I'm not your most religious person but I'm saying a prayer tonight for the babies out there that never got the chance to live their lives due to the sickness and irresponsibility of the people meant to care for them.... I sit here in tears watching the news play 2 stories just today of babies who were sent to heaven at the hands of their fathers here in Colorado..... It turns my stomach and all I can tell myself is that there is a special set of angel wings for these babies.... live in peace for all eternity.
Read more!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Recalls!!! ATTENTION!!

Make sure your products aren't on the list... Graco just recalled 1.5 million strollers due to finger amputations, check here for more info

Then the crib recall, if you own a dropside crib make sure you check this out!

And here's the Tylenol recall information Read more!

Google Ads

So they DO work?!! I wasn't sure if it would be worth my while but they're cutting me my first check!! Thanks to everyone who found some ads relevant and interesting and clicked! Read more!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Dear Holden... a look back at how you arrived here to be our son

Dear Holden,

I want to tell you a story.... you were a figment of your mom's imagination about 6 years ago... I had just left a 4 year relationship, I was living the single life... and boy was it a wild life. Doing things that you are never allowed to do and will surely be grounded for if I catch you! My heart was broken, I had no idea what I wanted in life, I was just living by the seat of my pants and doing anything I could to distract myself from the rejection I had allowed myself to experience for the past four years. I was at a fork in the road but I had no idea how much life was going to change.

By chance my best friend and I decided to reunite with some high school buddies for night of cocktails and hanging out until the sun came up (again something you are never allowed to do). We showed up on the doorstep of a house and went in to see some old familiar faces and some not so familiar faces. A great night that was.... I met your Daddy, it was his house, and the little devil took to hitting on me pretty quickly. Don't listen to him deny this, I can tell you it's true. He was so handsome and we immediately hit it off.

We started dating and I'm going to tell you about our first kiss, not to gross you out, but so that you can see how smitten your poor Daddy was... I had gone over to watch a movie with your him and his roommates, we sat there next to eachother the whole night, neither one of us would make the first move to even hold hands! You have to keep in mind that your father was quite the Casanova, he had a new lady friend every other night, he could have any girl he wanted (and trust me your momma will beat your butt if you ever behave this way!!) Anyway, the time came for me to leave, my ride had arrived, so I kind of stalled... I was waiting for him to make the first move... I stalled a little more pacing around the kitchen and finally when it was clear that he was NOT going to make a move I said "Ok well see ya later" and walked out the front door. I couldn't believe the man wouldn't kiss me, what was the matter with him! Well apparently I wasn't the only one who thought he was being ridiculous because unknown to me his roommates gave him quite the lashing when I walked out that front door. "Dude what are you doing?!!! KISS her!!" I wish I could've been a fly on the wall for that one, but instead I'm walking down the front steps and I hear the door fly open and he yells "WAIT!!" I turned around and he grabbed me and kissed me.... it was kind of romantic, until my bestfriend who had come to pick me up started yelling WOO HOO from the car window! See your Daddy was so smitten he couldn't pull out his Casanova moves on me... so cute...

Well the rest is history as they say Holden... I fell hard and fast for your Daddy... he swept me off of my feet and before I knew it I was head over heels in love him. Those big blue eyes had captivated me. This wild girl had found someone to tame her, my crazy life was now a thing of the past. I had moved to Colorado Springs for nursing school, had my own apartment but found myself commuting back to Denver every other day to see my love. Pretty soon we decided we would move in together so I packed my apartment up just 6 months after signing the lease and moved back. I transfered schools.... it was a turning point in my life. I had never been happier, I was happy with myself, I felt loved, I had goals, I finally knew what I wanted out of life.

We embarked on some amazing years having a great time with eachother. Started the business and watched it continue to grow, found ourselves some puppies to add to our home (they love you a lot too!), took some great vacations, and we found new ways to fall in love with eachother again every day. Ultimately I found your Daddy down on one knee in Vail professing his love to me and asking me to spend the rest of my life with him. I couldn't believe that I had arrived at this place in my life.... wow.... the man of my dreams was on his knees in front of me asking me to be his partner for life. At that point this was the most happiness I had ever experienced.

Our wedding day was so magical, we wed under the aspens and pine trees next to a rushing river, the most amazing outdoor cathedral. I'll never forget the look in your father's eyes when I rounded the corner on my Dad's arm. With our closest friends and family we told the world of our love for eachother and promised to make each day with eachother better than the one before.... and we're doing a pretty good job with that one....

After the wedding we started thinking about having someone like you around the house, there would be nothing better than a little baby for us to give our love to. So we had some time being just the two of us, newlyweds, and ultimately decided to start trying. Well little did we know that we would have to wait patiently for you... month after month we were unsuccessful. There were many tears, many breakdowns, and feelings of despair in the 9 months that we waited for you. And finally I saw those 2 lines on the pregnancy test.... I found myself thinking again 'I can't believe I have arrived at this place in life' wow I'm going to be someone's mom! I found the best way to tell your Dad of our upcoming arrival, I had to make it special... he was just as happy as I was to find out. He held me so tightly as we cried from excitement about our future to come....

Well 9 months later I was laying in a hospital bed pouring all of my God given strength in to getting you out into this world to meet you. Your poor Dad was a wreck, worried to death about the both of us, it was incredibly rough on both you and I, but my motivation to meet my wonderful son got me through it. I smiled as I looked across the room at Daddy staring in amazement at you in the bassinette as they cleaned you off. Our journey of anticipation was over and here you were...

Remember that doorstep I arrived on 6 years ago... that is the same doorstep that I would have my first kiss from your father... that is the same doorstep that I would walk across after returning from our honeymoon.... it's the same doorstep that we would carry our beautiful baby boy across after returning home from the hospital.

It's funny how you really don't know what life has in store for you, you can do all the planning you want and guess what, it means nothing, life is going to happen the way it's supposed to, so you might as well just sit back and enjoy it. And now I wake up to another set of beautiful blue eyes and smiles and coos and I can't believe this is where I am in life.

And that's how you came to be dear son... you are more loved than you can ever know.... And you know what, your Daddy and I love eachother just as much which equally as important. We are both here for you no matter what and we are both striving our hardest to be the best parents you could have. We were given such a precious gift and we intend to make sure we are deserving of your wonderful presence. I hope that one day when you look back at your life that you are proud to call us your parents and that you feel that we did a good job. I vow to give you everything in life that is humanly possible and to love you unconditionally for as long as I live....

All my love,
Mommy Read more!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Could it be.... no way.... cross your fingers!!

So what's new here... it's been a little while since I updated, we've had a lot going on! I could shoot myself for saying this for fear that I jinx something but I think we are rounding the corner with the colic!!! Praise GOD!!

I don't know if it was the 2 month shots or the Colic Calm (check out his Colic Calm face, it looks like charcoal lol!) that I ordered or what but little man seems to be doing a LOT better.... wow I didn't think I'd ever say that. The day he got his shots he slept pretty much the whole day and then slept for 8 hours that night! It was a miracle and I was going "Uh can we do shots everyday?!!" He stayed mellow for the next day or two and then got a little fussy the following days but nothing like it was. He still has fussy periods during the day and he still has some baaad days but now we get some good days too!! I joke with hubby that our next pregnancy and baby are going to be a breeze.... either that or we'll end up with triplets and go "ya know what, Holden wasn't so bad!" haa

We got his Bebepod seat in and he LOVES it! He absolutely loves to sit up like a big boy. I ordered the Bebepod because it has more "features" than the Bumbo. First it comes with a tray with an attachable toy and washable placemats to use when feeding them. And honestly it looks cuter than the Bumbo ;)

I've been reading a lot about sleep techniques and all kinds of stuff. Now that this colic seems to be easing up I feel more confident in trying out the coveted Baby Wise and Baby Whisperer techniques. Up until this point we've done our best but there was no consistency because the child cried all day and night and made his own routines and schedules, we've been at his mercy for 8 weeks, now it's time to turn the tables. I'm really excited about it, I think there are so many good philosophies out there! We are going to start implementing a lot of new ideas in our daily routine, some of which we already do naturally. I'm going to start working harder at dreamfeeding and logging his patterns every day to see what method is going to work best for us. Also analyzing his nap times and awake times. I'll post our progress and things that worked for us once we start.

Other than that we've just been busy getting things going for the New Year! Business planning... oh so fun... NOT. But I am excited about my new marketing plans for 2010. I'm working with a PR firm to get some things going and I can't wait to see what the year brings. We're already branching out into some crazy territory with Bella, adding more and more international boutiques, you can look forward to finding us in the UK, South Africa, and Canada on top of the Dubai and Arab Emerites locations. For all you preggos, ever heard of Pickles N Icecream? Yep we're working on a deal with them as well. And for you Colorado fans check out both Kidsport locations to find our tutus.

I'm also currently looking for a seamstress to help me "mass" produce the tutus, if you're in the Colorado area and are interested, shoot me an email and we can talk about the details ashleigh [at ]bellabmaternity [dot] com!

So that's what's new in the Maven household... next up I plan to delve into my New Years Resolutions... chime in to help me organize my house and life!! Read more!

Music Monday- It Just Comes Natural- George Strait

Fire burns, Waves Crash
Seeds grow and good things last
Ships sail, Dreams fly
Night falls and Full moons rise

And I love you,

It just comes natural
It's what I was born to do,

don't have to think it through,
baby it's so easy lovin you
Read more!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

2 month survey!

How old: 10 weeks down!

Weight: I'm guessing about 10 lbs maybe a little bit more (he was 9# 9 at his 2 month appt which is the 10th percentile)

Height: He was at 21 1/4" which is about 3%

Milestones: working on sitting up, loves to roll over when he's on my chest, cooing more and more each day

Eating: Still on the Nutramigen formula. We're at 4-6 oz. per feeding right now, and he goes every 4 hours during the day and about 6 at night

Sleeping: He will usually go at least 6 hours at night from 10:00-4:00, if we're lucky we get an extra hour or so! Still sleeping in the pack n play in our room but he did nap in his crib for the first time this week!

Favorite moment: nothing specific, I'm just loving his overall improved demeanor! And I guess my favorite thing thus far was when he slept for 8 hours straight the night he received his shots... how can we get him to do that again??!

Worst moment: our 2 month war battle appointment with the Physicians Assistant who refused to listen to what was going on or offer any productive suggestions.

Looking forward to: I can't wait until his colic is GONE gone gone!!! And I can't wait to get a full night's sleep when the child sleeps through the night consistently.... wow that would be sooo amazing!

Newly found wisdom? The moment you dress your child in your favorite outfit they will undoubtedly ruin it with a diaper blow out! On a more serious note, I am working hard at the sleeping thing therefore I'm studying some books and theories, mainly Baby Wise. I have discovered the importance of the LENGTH of the awake time and how even 5 minutes can make or break your entire naptime. I'm also learning to watch his cues more and see how they correspond to our current scheduling.

Daddy quote of the week: "I powdered his butt this morning.... he liked it" followed by me saying Oh really? Did he tell you so? This was after a discussion about why people no longer powder babies butts, I don't know why... and grandpa insists that we are crazy for NOT powdering him.... what can I say, no one really does that anymore, ya got me? Read more!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Mr. Holden & The Activity Mat

Check out my little man :) playing on his activity mat. He's finding his voice and learning to "chat" with momma, it melts my heart... although he does sound like a spider monkey haa, and as you can see his "happy times" are short lived right now, but we'll take what we can get!

Read more!

Flame Free Friday Confessions

So this is something that goes on at the Bump... it's an FFFC where you can admit or discuss anything you want to or may be embarrassed about and no one can "flame you" or get on your case about it. I figured I'd open my blog to FFFC's... share some of my trials, tribulations, mistakes, and anxieties with ya'll. But remember, NO flames please :)

Kicking off this week a little late... I'll throw a couple confessions out there...

I have to admit, I love to play Call of Duty on XBOX. I know, pathetic right lol! Most of the hubby's out there are the only ones who even know what Call of Duty is and the wives probably hate it with a passion because it consumes any and all of their free time. But yes, yours truly is a COD fan and I'm not gonna lie, I'm damn good at it. I challenge any of your hubbies out there to a match. Shaun can vouch for me "she'll kick your butt, she kicks my butt all the time" So yes, pathetic as it is, I am a COD master who'd have known... now you do!

Next up, I am a horrible housekeeper, I am getting a lot better now with the little guy around but yes I hate cleaning and put it off as long as possible. I think it stems from my anal mother (yes Mom, you are anal and you know it :) we were forced to clean and do so many chores as children that I think I am subconciously revolting against it in my adulthood. Ha I need a shrink (funny enough Mom's a shrink too, I promise I couldn't make this stuff up!) My nemisis is laundry... I am too embarrassed to even show you a picture of our bar/game room because it is literally CONSUMED with laundry. Granted it is clean and folded, but it is sitting in about 6 or 7 laundry baskets in the game room... Who even OWNS 6 or 7 laundry baskets!! Yep we do and it's just the 2 of us... well now 3 of us. I can't even believe that I admit that it takes hubbs and I a good couple of months to put the laundry away, in the meantime we dig around in the clean laundry baskets in the game room to dress ourselves. UGH... see admitting this crap gives me motivation to get my butt in gear so I'm glad I'm sharing it.

And the last confession of the week.... I still work daily on my self esteem issues. I may come across as a confident outgoing individual who has it all together, but really I don't. I grew up being told that it I am just as beautiful on the inside as I am on the outside but I seemed to always have a poor self image. Then I got into a relationship in highschool and was unfortunately cheated on for 4 years by my high school sweetheart. Well you can imagine what this did for the self esteem... it was rock bottom and I still find myself falling back into that mindset at times. Now that I'm a mom I find that it's almost worse because I'm constantly comparing myself to other moms, hoping that I stack up... And we have the whole post partum body image crap thanks to what pregnancy does to your body. So it is something that I struggle with on a daily basis but I guess on the upside at least I realize it and it's something that I can work on.

Ok so there's my confessions for the week, an insight into my world in suburbia-land :) Read more!

De-Lurking Week: Answers to your questions!!

You asked and now I'll answer :) And I wanted to say hey to all of my new readers, nice to see you all on here!! Don't be strangers anymore!

How has your life changed since becoming a mother? I am still me and I work very hard to make sure that I STAY the same person that I was before, but I have a whole new dimension now. I truly feel a sense of purpose and I have a confidence that I never had before. I am someones MOM.... I mean that is pretty amazing... just going through the labor and delivery alone made me realize how strong of a woman I really am. I also feel such a sense of accomplishment knowing that I am a mother, it's the hardest job on the planet and I'm doing it!!

Life in general has become a lot more chaotic and a lot more tiring. But it is 100 times more amazing than I ever thought possible. It has made all of my flaws more apparent which isn't all that bad, it has made the weaknesses in all of my relationships a lot more apparent as well but I welcome it all as a learning experience. Our social life, time with each other, ability to get things done, everything has taken a back seat to raising this little boy but it's only temporary. I force myself to keep as much normalness as I can in everyday life, I refuse to stay locked up in the house just because it's harder to get out the door. I refuse to shy away from restaurants or shopping because I'm afraid of melt downs, afterall it's only inevitable so might as well get used to it. I am a firm believer that a baby needs to fit into YOUR life not the other way around so both hubby and I work very hard to make this happen. That doesn't mean that things don't change because they do but we are both committed to not losing ourselves now that we are parents and I think we're doing a pretty good job so far!

Your blog has a lot of misspellings :) Really?? Oh my gosh, I pride myself on being a really good speller so dang! I must be rushing to get things posted and not proof-reading, I only have so much time before the child starts screaming again lol. So sorry... :)

My question to you is will you follow my blog? Of course I will! I lose track of which blogs I've joined and haven't so if I've missed yours just shoot me a comment so I don't forget. I love to read about everyone elses chaos to make myself feel better about my crazy yet awesome new life and to know that I'm not alone!

How do you find time to manage two businesses, being a mom, and being a wife? Honestly the only thing I can say is that I just do it... I'm sure I'll look back and go "how in the heck did I manage that?" but somehow I'm doing it. It reminds me of going to nursing school. To this day I still have no idea how I managed the intensity, the lack of sleep, the chaos, I literally put my life on hold for YEARS to get through it. But somehow I managed...

I just try to take it one day at a time and with the colic sometimes one minute at a time! My grandmother always said you don't eat an elephant in one bite, so I'm just taking baby steps. I also think that certain things are going to suffer in your life when you go through changes. You make sacrafices. And I'm ok with making these sacrafices knowing that it's only temporary. My relationship with my husband has changed a lot, we don't have a lot of "us" time anymore we are both tired and have short fuses these days, and at times it's really frustrating and sad, but we both know that it's only temporary and that we will come out of this stronger than we were before. Same goes for our social life and the cleanliness of our house, they've all been put on the back burner. But it's only for a short while. So as long as I know that all of these things are just a matter of phases I will take it as it comes.

How is your battle with PPD going? The PPD seems to be a thing of the past, at least for the most part. I do have days here and there where I feel a little more moody and cry about some ridiculous things. But the anxiety and worry are completely gone now. The colic really tests me and the PPD... I don't know if what I'm feeling is normal for someone dealing with relentless colic or if it's bordering the side of PPD?? But at least I can keep my feelings in check now. Yes there are days that Holden is crying and I feel completely inadequate and have NO clue what to do so we cry together on the floor.... but I think this is normal for a new mom, I don't know anyone who could listen to crying 15 hours a day and not have melt downs! I have taken myself off of the anti-depressants and somedays I think I'm stupid for doing so and that I'm not totally better but other days I'm completely fine. So I guess I'm just learning to deal with it all on my own terms and I will have no problem admitting that the PPD is back if I get to that breaking point again. For now I am feeling really good though and I hope that it continues!!

Are you or have your gone back to work? Well technically I work from home right now. As far as nursing I am not quite sure what my future plans are.... I would like to think that I could do some per diem work or maybe even part time but I'm not ready to make that commitment yet.... I'm really busy with both of the businesses and Holden (obviously) so in order to return to the traditional work force out there it would mean sacraficing time from one or both businesses and putting Holden in daycare, neither of which I'm willing to do at the time. So we'll have to wait and see I guess! Not to mention that I have always vowed to be a Stay At Home Mom and I'm really commited to that idea since I didn't have that when I was growing up. I feel very strongly about being here for my children every day and not missing one minute of their childhood.

So thanks for coming out of the closet and asking more to get to know me ya'll!! Read more!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

OK lurkers, here's your chance! Ask away!

Stealing this idea from some other blogs... apparently this is national "De-Lurking Week" in the blog realm. What the heck does that mean? Well it means that if you read here regularly but don't post comments this is your chance to come out of the lurking closet. Go ahead and comment anything you'd like to say, no judgements or harsh feelings from me :) If you'd like to ask me a question, anything at all, feel free to do so and I will answer honestly.

So go ahead, here's your chance, what do you wanna know?? :) Read more!

Monday, January 11, 2010

This is my child in 3 years!!

With a momma that loves music there's really no other choice but for him to end up this way... jammin out, guitar in hand, singing along to the stereo cranked full blast ;) This is so adorable!!!

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Music Monday: Drive- Alan Jackson

Can't wait for these days to come... puts a smile on my face :)

"And I would press that clutch
And I would keep it right
And he'd say, "a little slower son you're doing just fine"
Just a dirt road with trash on each side
But I was Mario Andretti
When daddy let me drive"

Alan Jackson lyrics - Drive lyrics Read more!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Well hello there... a little bit about myself...

This is me, the momma....

Since a lot of you don't know me and happily laugh at my crazy stories about life as a new mom I figured a formal introduction was in order. Let me tell you a little bit about myself and my family... First off I'm probably the most dynamic individual you'll ever meet, gypsy is kind of a decent word, I have lots of interests and energy and goals for life that I pursue to a fault at times. I call myself a prissy tomboy because I can't find another word to describe it. Most of my friends are guys, I hunt and shoot guns, I drink beer instead of wine, I camp and ride dirt bikes and love to 4 wheel in Moab.... and then I model and throw on super cute stillettos and make tutus and bake cookies and raise chickens and craft/sew/partyplan ... I'll always keep you guessing folks!

I am married to the most wonderful man I've ever known, he truly is amazing, the best husband and father and my best friend ... we started dating after high school although we had grown up together unknowingly. Several years later we found our way down the aisle, the most magical day of my life and the happiest I've ever been outside of meeting my sons for the first time. We live in our hometown in the beautiful state of Colorado spending our life with 363 days of sunshine!

I have several "professions" and seem to always have my hand in something new. Since I can remember I have had a love for pregnant women, infants, and children so naturally I decided to get a degree in nursing, pediatrics & OB being my fave. This is something I'll probably never stop doing, I keep finding my way back to school to get more and more initials behind my name, I think I'm a glutton for punishment... Taking my similar affinity of pregnant women I decided to start my own business. I started Bella Bambino (and later Rail Wrapz) in 2007, a retail child & maternity company which has been growing exponentially since. The road ahead is set to be a big one for my business as I delve into the world of trademarking, licensing, and global distribution. I'm just sitting back and enjoying the crazy and often times bumpy ride! I knew nothing about starting and operating a retail business, I taught myself everything I know to get the company running. I literally quit my job, went through design, production, website creation, etc and full out market tradeshow- ready to sell in THREE weeks.

To this day I still can't believe I did it... when I put my mind to something you better watch out, nothing will stand in my way, never has, never will. While I have put nursing on the back burner to grow my business I am now officially back in school on the trajectory to earn a Doctorate of Nurse Practice in Anesthesia...  or perhaps make a stop off to get my M.D. something I've grown more passionate about since my Dad's cancer diagnosis. Perhaps a trauma surgeon... Just going where the wind takes me... I love medicine and I work well under pressure, what can I say?

My dream was always to be a stay at home mom, to give my children something I never had, and I'm getting the next best thing. I'm a proud work at home mommy!! I feel so lucky to be able to work from home. Although it is busy, complete chaos at times, well actually most of the time :) it's the best of both worlds! The stress of owning a business while raising 2 under 2 is insane a tad overwhelming at times but the payoff is worth it in my eyes. Most days I feel like I won the lottery in life...

After 9 months of trying to conceive, 9 months of pregnancy, 12 hours of labor, and 1 hour of pushing, our beautiful son HL was born 11-5-2009. I'll never forget my husband crying and exclaiming "He's HERE.... Babe he's here!" My eyes were nearly swollen shut and I was so out of it I hadn't quite realized that I had finally pushed him out! If you have any doubt about miracles being real, witness the birth of your child.

10 months later I was pregnant with the baby Dude! Ended up in labor all by myself *woohoo* and after a relatively calm and uneventful labor on May 24 2011 we found ourselves in Two- Under- Two- land... The Dudes are basically twins born 18 months apart (can you tell them apart below!), there's never a dull moment and I wouldn't trade our blissful chaos for anything.

So this is my life... business owner, nurse of many specialties, wife, and momma... sit back and grab some popcorn, it's sure to be an interesting ride!

Want to know more...

I started blogging as a guest blogger when I became pregnant the first time. You can read my week by week journey at Mom To Be Depot and see what a crazy 9 months it was from wondering about carrying twins to pre-term labor and bedrest to my baby's growth issues and impending induction to a premie baby and chaotic delivery!

Birth stories are here and here...

I blog about Cancer and all of it's supreme SHITTYNESS here. And yes I curse.... like a sailor at times, I'm working on it ok.

The first day of the rest of my life was the day I found out I was pregnant. You can read all about my life changing Year in Review 2010 photo documentary and see pictures of how I ended up where I am today.

And during De-Lurking week I answered questions from all of you covering everything from my Post Partum Depression to how my life has changed as a mother.

Want to be a fly on the wall of my home? Read about my typical day as a mompreneur! And see how I feel about people who think we're all *just stay at home moms...

This is why I blog and this is why I will keep blogging no matter how busy life gets.

And this is the most beautiful thing I've read about motherhood

Want to know more, just ask! You can send me an email over on the contact page. Thanks for stopping by!

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Friday, January 8, 2010

2 month appointment: shots, why I hate physicians assistants, and how I almost decked an 80 year old woman in the exam room!

We had the 2 month appointment today and HL did awesome with the shots, he only cried for a moment and then he was fine. He's actually sleeping at the moment so we shall see how the night progresses.

STATS: He is now 21 1/4" long which is the 3rd percentile. He is 9 # 9 ounces which is roughly the 10th percentile and his head circumference is 15 1/4" which is the 20th percentile. All is looking good!

I asked about the colic and got the traditional, "OH 3 months is the magical number" answer, nothing else. I asked about putting rice cereal in his bottle to help with the reflux and she proceeded to tell me that I was feeding him too much. HOLD UP.... what?? He eats 4-6 oz. every 4 hours. According to the Similac feeding chart this is right on track yet OLD doctor lady says he should be eating 3-4 oz every 3 hours. So what gives?? Peach... yes that was her name... goes on to tell me that our child probably doesn't have reflux at all and could be taken off of medication because we're just feeding him too much. UH NO... sorry sweetheart... he pukes HOURS after eating and spits up all day long, that's the definition of reflux. And he did this when we gave him 3 oz, 4 oz, 5 oz, it doesn't matter what amount he does the same thing. Not to mention the poor kid would scream worse if I cut his food intake in HALF, trust me I've tried it, the kid is hungry and therefore, I feed him. He stops when he's full. She asked if he cries when he spits up and I said, well not really I guess, and she went on to say that "we call them Happy Spitters" they just spit up that's all. She refused to listen to me when I told her that it's hard to say if he cries after he spits up or pukes because the child cries ALL. DAY. LONG.... I have no idea why he's crying, it could be the reflux, it could be something else how the hell should I know.  And this is where Ms. Peach lost me as a patient forever....

Peachy goes on to tell me that I just need to let the babe cry. "Oh just let him cry, swaddle him up and put him in another room. He can cry all he wants to" I told her that I carry him around in the sling and he usually calms down and she jumps to interrupt me telling me that I should NOT do this because he's going to learn that he can only fall asleep if someone holds him and that he will never learn to self soothe. Ok I get the reasoning here but the rules have to be bent when you have colic to deal with. If the kid will stop screaming briefly while I walk him around in a carrier, your DAMN right I'm going to do that, as often as it takes!! The child sleeps just fine on his own without being held IF he's not screaming his head off. And I said well I'm not going to just let him cry, the child cries for 15 hours a day!! You know what she tells me??!! "OH turn on some music, go in another room and learn to distract yourself" WHAT. THE. EFF??? Sure I'm going to let my kid scream for 15 hours a day and just IGNORE IT haaaa. Sure ignore it for 9 weeks straight, is she effing insane... obviously!! I'm so sure that he would learn to soothe himself if I do this, nevermind the colic, he'd figure it out right?! Let him cry..... for 15 hours straight.... my jaw was on the floor ha at this point I was fuming pissed, it was everything I had not to tell the 80 year old hag where to shove her medical degree.

I can't even find the words here to describe how this appointment went. The lady was telling me that HE is fine, it's ME that has the problem because I can't deal with his crying and so the magical "fix" for his colic is to learn to "get over it" and deal with the screaming. Wow there were so many things wrong with this appointment I literally can't remember them all. Telling me to let my 2 month old Cry It Out... I THINK NOT honey... a 2 month old doesn't have the cognitive ability to modify their behavior based on feedback. If you don't attempt to comfort them when they cry they learn not to trust you, crying is their ONLY form of communication at this point and I find it hard pressed to think that my 2 month old baby is manipulating me by crying so that I will just hold him all day long. I mean doesn't that sound CRAZY, a 9 week old with the understanding of manipulation.... oh dear god. This crochety old hag, Peachy, needs to pick up a modern textbook before she goes preaching advice. And did I mention that she was a Physicians Assistant? I have NO use for PA's, they think they know it all, they're worse than EMT's, they could care less about finding a solution for you they just want you in and out the door. (I apologize to any PA's out there who don't act this way but this is my experience from working in the medical field.)

Needless to say we won't be seeing Peachy crochety 80 year old lady PA her "Hagness" again... ugh... so I got no answers for my questions. Instead I guess I'll have to play doctor myself (as usually happens) and introduce the rice cereal to see if it helps with the reflux and get myself in to see a pediatric GI without a referral. Read more!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Busting The Baby Bulge!!

Ab Lounge Ultra Sport Abdominal ExerciserThe Ab Lounger is coming out of the basement tonight and will be cleverly placed in the living room in front of the tv so I have no excuse not to use it. And for anyone who doesn't know, I highly recommend this thing, it makes doing sit ups/crunches so easy you really don't feel like you're doing anything, which is MY kind of work out!! Some back story here, I have already lost all of my pre pregnancy weight plus another 5 or so pounds. I know, I know, you can hate me, I can't take credit for it, it just came off. At 5 days post partum I was back down and wearing my old jeans. But the tummy is a little more, how shall I put it, jello-y than I'd prefer so I'll be busting my ass to get back in shape for summer.

I actually have a goal to get back to my highschool weight and figure (well ok, the boobs can stay, but the rest of my new body can go back) I was about 15 lbs lighter in highschool with great abs, skinny thighs, and no butt. I can thank cheerleading for this, our workouts and practices were out of this world. 5 days a week we conditioned for an hour, then practiced for an hour, then went to the games to cheer. We ran 2 or more miles a day, threw humans around in the air (well actually I was the one getting tossed, which I can assure you is just as much work!), and worked our butts off! Top that with my daily weight lifting class and well you get the idea. Here's a picture of me fresh out of highschool doing a calendar shoot for Hotrods & Hotties...

Now you can see why this is my inspiration pic! I have no doubt that I can achieve this. I come from a family of very health conscious people, I grew up knowing good and bad things to eat and therefore I eat pretty healthy. Anything in moderation is the key. I've never been one to diet, I hate diets, and let me be the first to tell you.... they DON'T WORK! You have to be willing to change your lifestyle if you want to see lasting results otherwise you'll play the yo yo game. And a diet would never work for me, this girl LOVES to eat. Honestly I eat probably 6-8 times a day, I'm like an infant ha! I'm constantly eating and I'm famous for having a second dinner 40 minutes after finishing my first dinner. Those of you who know me are probably laughing right now because it's so true!

I'll tell you one diet that worked for me, ending up with Postpartum Depression! The anxiety killed my appetite like a heart attack, I literally ate nothing for an entire week... seriously! I dropped weight like a lead balloon which brought me to 12 lbs under my pre-pregnancy weight. Luckily I've regained about half of that. But if that's the kind of diet I have to be on to lose weight... um NO thanks.... I'll stay fluffy forevah!

So once I tone up this baby jello I'm going to need a fabulous swimsuit to show off my new rockin' Mom bod, check below and help me choose a bikini! And who am I kidding, I need NO excuse to buy another swimsuit.... I have a slight obsession.... probably own around 60 swimsuits. Hello, my name is Ashleigh and I'm addicted to swimsuits, yes it's a problem. But do me a favor and make sure that the money I spend on this new one is worth my while! Read more!

Choose My Summer Swimsuit!!

Ok here it is my top 4 swimsuit choices (see Busting The Baby Bulge post)... Please help me decide by leaving a comment on your pick!!

Choice #1

Choice #2

Choice #3

Choice #4
Read more!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

2 months in the making...

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O.M.G I'm all out of beer

This is not good folks.... the child is screaming his poor head off despite being walked around in the Bjorn with Daddy. We've been on the hypoallergenic Nutramigen formula and the Prevacid reflux medicine for over a week now and the screaming continues. Granted I would say it has "improved" but in all reality that is a bit of an overexaggeration, we're talking minute changes here.

I broke down and ordered the Colic Calm today, $25.00 for an ounce, this crap better work because that's extortion! What else can I try??? Maybe the rice cereal?? Supposedly this can help with reflux but who knows. I refuse to accept this "colic" as our diagnosis damnit, I just wont do it. When we go in for his 2 month shots on Friday I think I will request a referral to the pediatric GI. I mean this is just horrible for all of us and I would just die if I knew there was something underlying that I could've fixed for him.

I also ordered a Wubbanub, this is essentially a stuffed animal attached to a pacifier. My hopes are that it will solve our paci game that we play all day and night long much to my delight. Hopefully the Wub will keep the paci in his mouth, we shall see.

In the meantime I'm out of beer, it's snowing and I don't want to leave the house. The news is calling it an Arctic Blast... I guess it's about 7 degrees outside and apparently 30 below with the windchill... meh welcome to Colorado, it could be 80 tomorrow. But the snow and crappy traffic are deterring me from heading out on a beer run. What to do, what to do...

OH. DEAR. LORD.... the hubbs just informed me that he bought me a whole new case of beer on his way home today..... "just for you babe!" oh how I love that man!! This is music to my ears :)

::::: runs off to pop open a Killians::::::: now maybe this will improve my sanity long enough to figure out what to do for dinner. Tomorrow's another day... Read more!

We broke the hundreds!!

<----On Top Mommy Blogs... woo hoo! keep the voting going :) Read more!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Happy Birthday to you!

Happy Birthday to YOU... Happy birthday Dear Holden..... Happy birthday to YOU!!! Cannot believe that I watched you take your first breath in this world two months ago... Read more!

Monday, January 4, 2010

What a difference a year makes 2009....2010

A year in review.... well the whole year can be summed up in a name.... Holden Liam. The year was spent creating him, our precious son.

January: We rang in the New Year in Winter Park with family & friends. I drank lots of champagne knowing fully well that I was not pregnant despite our efforts over the past long months.

February: Valentines Day.... then Hubby's birthday.... and yet another BFN, #8, (for all of you non-bumpies out there that means Big Fat Negative, as in pregnancy test) At this point I went in for fertility counseling. The plan was to attempt another cycle, get some further testing, and I was given a prescription for Clomid to try on my second upcoming cycle. At least we had some hope for the baby making process in the future.

March: My favorite holiday- St. Patricks Day! I put no real effort into this cycle assuming that we wouldn't end up pregnant until we tried the Clomid the following month. I only took one ovulation test (as opposed to one a day for the past 8 months!) I was relaxed and hopeful that we'd finally get our BFP soon...

April: little did we know that we'd be throwing that prescription for Clomid in the trash... finally after 9 months of trying those 2 pink lines appeared! BFP!! It was the best birthday present I could've asked for. I was ecstatic and couldn't wait to tell hubby. I planned a special way to tell him of the arrival of our first child and his eyes filled with tears as he scooped me up proclaiming "NO way!!!" Our year had really just begun... we told the family with special Easter baskets filled with grandma & grandpa goodies and the like. We took our annual 4 wheeling trip to Moab, a little rough with the morning sickness ha! April was all about Zofran and exhaustion.

May: I couldn't wait for the first trimester to end so that I could find relief from the morning sickness. I was already down 12 lbs despite medication... ugh these were rough weeks. To add to the sickness and misery we made a trip to watch my sisters-in-law graduate from college in South Dakota. I was 10 weeks pregnant, whoa looking back now I don't know how I survived the plane ride!

June: We celebrated our 1 year wedding anniversary. Hubby surprised me by taking me back to our wedding site at the exact moment that we were married one year ago... we made a time capsule and buried it under a giant pine tree at our ceremony site. Next up we got the ultrasound results of boy or girl but kept them concealed in an envelope. We planned to find out together with our entire family on the 4th of July. It was everything we had not to rip that envelope open!

July: Took a drive to Wyoming to buy fireworks, red for girl, blue for boy. A close friend would open the envelope and light the appropriate firework for us. With our entire family present we stood on the porch and watched the fireworks fill the sky with blue proclaiming that it was indeed a BOY!! It was amazing... so special... our son was on the way....

August: About half way done with the pregnancy and feeling the aches and pains, I was still waiting for the stork to bring that "second wind" of the 2nd trimester... it would never show up... I was tired, achy, and sore almost the entire duration of the pregnancy. Nursery planning and decorating was my daily life, I was constantly searching for the perfect items for him, the perfect bedding, the perfect clothes. Baby bliss...

September: My business started ramping up and with this so did the exhaustion. I was busy, really busy, and trying to get things prepared for the baby after hearing the words 30 weeks pregnant. It seemed like we were SO close... little did I know how close!

October: October was the changing point in the pregnancy. This month began with pre-term labor, I should've seen it coming, I was constantly running around like a freight train. I landed myself in labor & delivery at 32 weeks pregnant, luckily was able to stop my labor and was sent home on bedrest and medication. The next couple of weeks on bedrest sucked but I diligently rested in efforts to keep the babe baking as long as possible. When the labor scares finally passed I continued to go in for my growth ultrasounds and we were given some unexpected news. Baby H was not growing as he should be all of a sudden, he was diagnosed with IUGR (Intrauterine Growth Restriction) and our induction date was set!! Induction??!! Yea, hadn't planned on that one. We held out as long as possible, making it to 36 weeks with NST's twice a week to check in on the little guy, and the plug was pulled. Induction date was set for November 4th.

November: This is a month that will forever change our lives. Holden Liam was brought into this world on November 5th at 8:32 pm.... With that last push I was finally able to meet my baby that I'd grown inside of me for 9 months. It was the most intense, overwhelming, out of control labor and delivery that I could've imagined but worth every second. We settled in to being parents and were loving every minute of watching our son grow when I was diagnosed with Postpartum Depression. Thanks to my breastfeeding medication I was thrown into PPD pretty quickly... and luckily was able to get a hold of it quickly as well.

December: We celebrated our first Christmas as a family of 3.... the happiest we've ever been despite our colicky child! The holidays went seamlessly and the newest family addition was a hit and an extra reason to celebrate for everyone. New Years rang in once again... this time I was asleep in bed and was woken up to a kiss from hubby. And I drifted off to sleep amazed at what the year had brought. Our lives have changed forever and 2010 is just the start... what a difference a year makes.... Read more!

Music Monday- Hubbs contribution Then- Brad Paisley

This is one of my favorite songs that hubby has played for me, I can remember swaying to it at the Brad Paisley concert 30 weeks pregnant.... beautiful...

I can just see you, with a baby on the way and I can just see you, when you're hair is turning gray what I can't see is how I'm ever gonna love you more...But I've said that before...

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Music Monday- Mr. Mom- Lonestar

Love this, and fitting for Mondays!

Pampers melt in a Maytag dryer.
Crayons go up one drawer higher!
Rewind Barney for the 15 time,
breakfast 6, naps at 9.
There's bubblegum in the baby's hair,
sweet potatoes in my lazy chair
Been crazy all day long, and it's only Monday- Mr. Mom!!

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Saturday, January 2, 2010

Baby Carriers- The Male Perspective :)

Here's Hubby's review of our various baby carriers... yes we have a few... yes I'm glad we have all of them... yes I'd buy each of them again! I realized I had a picture of him with every single one of them and decided to get his opinion for a review post, it's not every day the daddies get to hear the male side of product reviews ha!

The Baby Bjorn: This is his fave I guess... he says it's comfortable and he doesn't feel stupid wearing it (the main concern HA!) I for the life of me couldn't figure out how to get the thing on but he says he has no trouble. "Once you figure it out it's easy." He says the straps are more comfortable and it "seems" safer because it has locks and buttons and so forth. So he'll carry the colicky child around while cooking dinner and both boys seem to enjoy themselves...

The Infantino Easy Rider: I got this one at Target for $15.00, the same concept as a Bjorn but cheaper, so why not. Now this one I was able to get on and Hubbs says he likes this type of carrier. What he likes about the Infantino is that it has pockets and a burp cloth so you don't get spit up on your clothes. He says it's smaller than the Bjorn so Holden will likely outgrow it quicker. But for the price difference he says he'd probably go with the Infantino if he had to choose because he likes them both.

The Moby Wrap:  Here's how this went "Do you like the Moby?" "No." "Really? Why not?" "It pulls my shirt all weird and I think I look retarded" yes those are the words right out of his mouth as I sit here typing. HA! So much for getting a gender neutral color (red) so that he wouldn't feel "feminine" wearing it. Dork! But I'm not so sure.... he looks pretty comfy with his beer in hand cooking dinner, don't you think!

The Jelly Bean Sling: So he likes this one, go figure, the only one with girlie flowers all over it! Here's how this one went "Really you like the sling?" "Yea, it's way better than the Moby." "Are you serious! Why?" "Are you kidding, it's so much easier. Unlike the Moby where I have to spiderweb myself into it! It's stupid!" Ok I'll give him that, it does take longer to put the Moby on... but at least the weight is dispersed on both shoulders, with the sling your arm gets tired.

And there you have the XY chromosome's take on babby carrying! :)

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