As most of you know, I am a Fashion Marketing teacher at a high school & have been teaching for the last ten years.  I started the fall after I graduated college at the same school I am still at now.  My husband proposed to me in the school (on stage at one of my fashion shows), I planned my wedding there & had my students help on the actual day, and most recently, I grew my baby girls in my belly over two different school years.  My younger brother substituted down the hall from me, both my mom & sister have gone on numerous field trips, and my dad has built endless amount of props for all our events.  I have taught SO many amazing teenagers who I have made great relationships with & still talk to today, my job really is incredibly rewarding and I feel so very lucky to be able to teach something I am so passionate about at a place that I have literally grown up in myself.

With all of that being said, the last couple of years have (professionally) been challenging for me, mainly because of the obvious, precious time away from my growing little girl.  We have made it work but emotionally, it has been tough for me & keeping it real, the thought of leaving two kids five days a week has been haunting me ever since the beginning of my second pregnancy.  I really haven’t shared much about it for a lot of reasons, I like to focus more on the positive (which I have a whole lot of!) & I know there are a lot of people who do the exact same thing that I do (and more).  Also, I know that the whole “working vs. SAHM mom” thing can be controversial and make people mad as hell.  The bottom line for me is that no situation is easy & the grass isn’t always greener on the other side, even though it can sometimes feel that way.  Ultimately, you have to do what is best for you, your kids, & your family.  I am so, so, SO! thankful that we have found a situation that is best for us.

I will be going back to work next week as a part-time teacher, I will be working every other day, rotating between two & three day work weeks.  This truly is a dream come true for me, words really can’t explain what a relief this is or how appreciative I am for the opportunity to be able to both stay home with my babies & to also stay teaching something that I love! 🙂  Yet this decision was certainly not one we came to easily.  Things will change around here, obviously financially, & also, taking a different contract with my school system affects whether or not I will have a job the following year.  I worked hard to get where I am both in my education and professionally, losing the job security I have is a hard pill to swallow.  Yet ultimately, the thought of later regretting not doing everything I could to get more time at home with them outweighed everything else.  I want to set the example for my girls that you can do whatever you put your mind to, this is something that I feel is right for our family right now & that I know I will make work.  I am so thankful to my principal & my husband for believing in me and supporting me enough to do just that!

I can’t even believe that these two little girls are my new (part-time) bosses!  I love them so! 🙂

Bows

And because they are just too cute not to share, some photos from a birthday party we went to over the weekend.  Waverly had the best time at the farm, she is truly our outdoor girl! 

Bow, Overalls No Longer Available – Pants option for fallBoots
Thank you for always supporting our little family, please know that I truly am for ALL mothers, no matter what situation you are in.  I strongly believe that you have to do what makes you happy & what is best for your family, that obviously looks different for everyone.  And HAPPY halfway through the week! XO

Now that we are ten weeks into this whole family of four thing (double digits!), I thought I would share a little update about the girls are doing together.  Or mainly, how Waverly is reacting to having a little sister!  She is the one with most of the emotions around here, & also, Avalon doesn’t know any different, reality to her is life with a crazy little lady around all of the time. 😉
More than anything, my main concern while pregnant was how Waverly would do with such a huge transition.  Obviously being outnumbered, lack of sleep, double the crazy – all of that crossed my mind (& was scary!), but my biggest worry was that bringing a new baby home would completely turn Waverly’s world upside down.  If you have read my blog long enough, I’m sure you have an idea of her demeanor, Waverly is as spunky & sassy as they come, and she loves attention!  While it can be challenging, we love that about her, she is so much fun, so full of life, and there is no doubt in my mind that her vibrant personality will take her very far one day.  Yet those are also all of the things that worried me when thinking about her little sister joining us (you know, forever!), another little person who would also get lots of attention & who we would love just as much as we love her.
So far, Waverly has truly amazed me, in just the time since Avalon was born I have watched her grow & mature so very much, there is no one she adores more than her little sister.  From the very moment she met her in the hospital, Waverly has been so interested in Avalon, wanting to know everything about her and to love on her as much as possible.  I was worried that the excitement would fade after a couple of weeks, but it definitely hasn’t, in fact I think her love for her grows stronger all the time.  Avalon is the first person she asks for in the morning, she never turns down the opportunity to hold her, & she begs me to wake her up every time she is napping.  The minute Avalon’s eyes open she yells, “Mom, she is up!”, so excited, and if she cries for even two seconds, Waverly runs to her and wants to help immediately.  Overall, she has taken to the big sister role seamlessly, & it melts my heart on a daily basis.
With that being said, I certainly don’t want to come off like we are living in a dream world over here, while I have been pleasantly surprised by the girls, we have our issues just like everyone else.  When Avalon was just a couple weeks old, our friend & photographer came over for some family pictures at our house, and it was pretty much a disaster.  It was the first time Waverly showed signs of jealousy, probably because she was used to Brooke being all about her and she had to share the attention.  She hit Avalon a couple of times, it really upset me (& my post-partum hormones), the day ended up in tears from everyone and my first beer in ten months.  I was convinced I was going to have to be Avalon’s bodyguard from there on out, and that I had most likely ruined Waverly’s happy little world.  Thankfully though, she woke up the next morning completely normal & hasn’t acted that way since.  
The biggest issue that remains, by far, is that Waverly is so in love with Avalon that she wants to be on her all of the time.  Literally.  Waverly has always been big on touch, she shows her feelings (& how much she loves someone!), by smothering them, and that’s definitely the case with her little sister.  She gets right in her face to talk to her, she likes to grab her hands and feet, and almost always, she wants to kiss her over, over, and over again.  Though we have gone over it so many times, she still doesn’t quite understand what gentle is, and even if she does, the reality is that she is three & sometimes she just can’t quite contain herself .  Some days I feel like I have to ask her to move away from Avalon so many times that we don’t have many happy moments left, which makes me sad because I feel horrible disciplining her for loving her sister so much.  Yet ultimately, if that is the biggest problem we have, I will gladly take it.  Just like every other part of parenthood, it’s just a phase, one that we will get through together.  Every day seems to get better, before long, Avalon will be running after her big sister begging for her attention & I will look back on this time laughing, I’m sure of it.
So there you have it, ten weeks in with two little ladies! 🙂  Lots of ups & a couple downs, but we are so in love with them both and couldn’t feel luckier to call them ours.  Please share your own thoughts, feelings or experiences below, I am all ears! 
XO

Happy Friday, friends!!  I am finally getting around to sharing a couple images from pictures we had done when Avalon was about a month old, as well as her birth announcement!  We had pictures done with Waverly a few days after she was born and went the traditional route, some really amazing images inside with backdrops and huge headbands & bows.  I really love them and will treasure them forever, but decided to do something different with Avalon.  We did most of our photos outside (where we are happiest!), some of just Avalon, some of both the girls, & some with our entire family of four! 🙂  I shared a sneak peek here, and am excited to include the rest soon, but for now, I wanted to focus on a couple favorites of Avalon & the girls, the images we used for her announcement.

Avalon’s Headband & Bloomers; Girls Floral Wreaths are from Micheals, In-Store
Photo Cred.:  Brooke Tucker Photography
The pictures were done at a park near our house, it’s kind of a dream come true to see our newest baby girl sleeping so sweetly there, & even more so to see both our girls together.  We go there all the time so it’s special to us, I know Avalon will grow to love it just as much as we do!

And the announcement! 🙂  You all probably know about my obsession with invites, cards, just pretty products in general.  In a world that is so technology-driven, I feel like these sorts of things are still personal & important as ever, I absolutely love getting fun mail. I hope our friends & family love it as much as I do!  We worked with our friends at Tiny Prints to create these, as always, I am so in love with the result.  They have the absolute best quality, so many options, & are the easiest, sweetest people to work with.

You can find the style I used here, it’s even prettier in person & I definitely recommend it.  And just for fun, a picture from Waverly Maye’s newborn pictures three years ago!  Do you think the girls look alike as newborns?!

Photo Cred.:  Little Baby Blue Photography

Another month of our littlest & life just keeps getting better everyday.  Happy two months sweet girl, you have made these last eight weeks some of the best ones we have ever had!
 
Headband & Monthly Update Cards
 Avalon’s personality is showing more all of the time, she smiles, coos, and makes the best eye contact now, all of which we are absolutely addicted to!  She loves baths, a tight swaddle, & more than anything, cuddling close & being held.  She really is such a snuggler, it’s my favorite & I hope she never, ever loses that!  At times we are starting to see a little more spunk than the first few weeks, but overall, she is a happy, laid-back baby, with the sweetest demeanor that we just can’t get enough of.

Sleep is going great, Avalon has been sleeping in between 8 & 10 hour stretches at night for the last few weeks, something that didn’t happen with Waverly until she was at least four months old.  We are thrilled, it’s definitely made the transition to two kids so much easier, I don’t feel near the exhaustion that I did the first time around & am so, so thankful for that!  With that being said, naps during the day are much less consistent.  She sleeps on & off but mostly in the solly, she has a hard time falling (and staying) asleep anywhere else.  We are working on it, & hoping to make some progress soon,  but ultimately will take issues with daytime sleep before nighttime sleep no doubt. 🙂

Breastfeeding has been so much easier this time, we are going strong & my supply continues to be way higher than it was with Waverly.  I really love it, it’s so nice to have that time with her, especially since life is a little more chaotic these days.  In other good news, Avalon is starting to tolerate the car seat a little bit better, in the sense that she doesn’t sound like someone is cutting her arm off back there. 😉  She still cries, but not nearly as much, she is getting better at holding her pacifier in to calm her down so that helps.  Now if only I could figure out how to get Waverly’s arm to reach across the seat to hold it in for her, we would really be good to go.  For now, we are totally the parents with the wife in the backseat attempting to calm the chaos, it works & is totally worth it when the hubs is with us.
 
The girls still look a lot alike (looking at newborn pictures of each of them is crazy, I can’t even tell them apart!).  Yet we think Avalon looks a little more like my husband, especially as she gets older.  Her eyes are getting more blue by the day, her hair seems to be a strawberry-blonde, & her coloring seems to be more of a darker shade than Waverly’s (or mine!).  She is still a peanut, at her two-month appointment she weighed in at just over ten pounds & was only in the tenth percentile for height.  We are in a weird stage for clothes, the newborn stuff is getting small but the 0-3 mostly swarms her, especially in length.  So excited to put her in some of her sister’s old clothes soon, as she grows & can fit into them, having comparison pictures will be so much fun!

Waverly is so, so in love with her little sister, as are we, & life as family of four is just the best.  We love to love you, Avalon Elle, here’s to many more months of happiness with you!

Wishing you all the happiest weekend!
XO

Now that we are six weeks into life with Avalon Elle, I thought I would share some of the things we are loving this time around, the products that we have found most helpful for our second baby girl & that truly, we would have a hard time making it without!  I was obsessed with reading lists like these with Waverly, & though this time I definitely feel like I know a little more, I am always looking for new products to make life a little bit easier.  Here are our current favorites! 🙂
Solly Wrap:  I decided to order the solly wrap during this pregnancy, even though I already had both the moby & the ergo, mainly because of the amazing reviews.  I have to say, I am SO glad I did, we absolutely love it & use it every single day, throughout the day.  I loved wearing Waverly too, but I definitely prefer the solly to the other two wraps, it is super easy to use, plus soft & comfortable, and it’s thin enough to just throw in the diaper bag.  I love that I can have both my hands to play with Waverly & also love having Avalon so close, all the time, she definitely loves it just as much!
Wubbanub:  We are definitely not above using a pacifier for soothing & comfort, we weren’t with Waverly and we definitely aren’t with Avalon. 😉  Both girls have preferred with wubbanubbs to all other pacifiers, they are so soft & (though Avalon can’t quite do it yet), big enough for them to get a grip on.  Plus they come with the sweetest animals, the lamb is our favorite!
Honest Diapers:  We did not use honest with Waverly, but I have some friends who used them & love them.  So far, I am definitely a fan, they have the cutest prints ever and it’s obviously a major plus that they don’t use harsh chemicals.  We also use the honest lotions, they are definitely some of the best!
Covered Goods:  I got this a few months before I had Avalon as an additional nursing cover, & it has actually been the only cover I have used since she was born!  I love it so much, it’s beyond soft & I love the print.  It also can be used as a car seat cover, which is super convenient!  This has quickly become one of my favorite products, I don’t know how I lived without it before!
Aidan & Anais Blankets:  I remember thinking these were so overpriced before I had Waverly, & now, three years later, we have so many & they are absolutely our favorite swaddle blankets.  They are the best quality, plus breathable & lightweight, and they keep their shape even after washing them a million times.  Waverly still uses hers every night & they make the best baby burrito for Avalon. 😉
Rock-n-Play:  Avalon has a little bit of reflux, so this is what she sleeps in every night, nothing else stands a chance!  This is what makes her happiest during the day too, we also have the momaroo, but if I am honest, we are 0 for 2 on our babies liking it.  I’m sure it is a coincidence, I have heard many people who swear by it, but our girls definitely prefer this swing or the rock-n-play. 
Zip-Front Onesies:  Even after just three years, I forgot how much easier it is to have the zip-front onesies rather than the button ones.  My husband does most of the late night diaper changes & then hands Avalon back to me to feed her, and he would agree that they are just so much easier.  Every minute counts!
What are some of your favorite products for your newborn?  Is there anything I missed & that I should be looking into?  And what is a newborn post without a baby picture?!  Our sweet, sleeping Avalon Elle, someone give me ten more of her. 🙂
Headband & One-Piece

And lastly, the HAPPIEST birthday week to my first baby (who is forever my baby, right?!), Waverly Maye!  We love you so much & can’t wait to celebrate you all week long!
XO