Monday, January 28, 2013

A Sunday Afternoon Stroll & Ava's Physical Therapy

Sunday 1/27/13

Sunday was a pretty typical Sunday...
We went to 9:30 service at Mark's church then took A1A to find a place to eat. 
We ended up going to Big City Tavern for lunch. Ava was a good little bean as usual :) 
On our drive over I saw my beloved beach being reconstructed. Makes me happy to see that it is being fixed but sad to see it this way right now. 
My best high school memories with my friends were on this beach. 
{love you, my eastsiders!}

Anyways, back to Sunday...
We ate some food then took Ava on a really long stroll down all of Las Olas.

 We ended up at Colee Hammock Park and turned around to head back. On our walk, I heard a honk and a saw a big wave hello. It was my friend, Karl, driving in his new Jeep. Love that boy! That's the great thing about living in the city you grew up in... you usually bump into a friend. 

Monday 1/28/13

Today was not so much fun...

I was told on one of Ava's check up's that she has Torticollis. Torticollis literally means "twisted neck." The doctor told me that this may have been a result of Ava being positioned oddly when she was inside of me,  a result to the delivery, or even positions that she is often in at home. So because of this painless "stiff neck"  she has a pretty flat head. 

So today we were scheduled for Ava's first physical therapy appointment. I was getting nervous up until today. Personally, I have gone through physical therapy for jaw surgery in middle school and it is no fun!

I kept imagining them putting Ava's neck in awkward positions and her crying because she was unfortable...

{and then I would find myself crying. Literally crying from just IMAGINING this.}

I swear, I can hide a lot of emotion but the second it comes to Ava, I am a wreck!!!

Long story - short - She did great. She smiled at her physical therapist the entire time and this made me sigh in relief. 

I didn't want to have to go all "crazy Cuban mama bear" on them - because I know I would have.

The only tough part was waiting for them to call us in. I am not a fan of Ava in doctor offices or hospitals being so little and fragile. I had her in her "stroller cocoon" so she couldn't breathe in sick people...

My instructions are to keep her on her side and stomach as much as possible. 

{Bring on the mommy anxiety of her turning face flat and suffocating. 
I will be a nervous wreck in the weeks to come not taking my eyes off of her.} 

So now that we are home, I am in bed watching her nap - on her side. 
I even put her newborn hospital cap on to try and mold her head a little faster. Who knows if that even helps but it is worth a shot.  Watching her nervously {because I am crazy nervous to make sure I do everything right when it comes to Ava--- I sit here and watch her while thinking...
There really is nothing- not a single thing- that I would not do for this baby. Whatever I need to do, I will always do it no matter what. 

One thing I have learned already in the 9 months of pregnancy and 3 months as a new mom is that the moment you know there is another heartbeat that you have created, everything changes. 

So, Ava, we conquered the 2 cephalotomas, the severe level jaundice, your crooked little foot {from her position inside of me as well.} 
...maybe I need a larger waist?! 

and now we will conquer the Torticollis. 
Don't worry, mama will make it all better. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Snapshots of This Week 1/22/13-1/26/13


Wednesday 1/23/13
Ava & I made the trip to Miami to spend the day with my abuela and abuelo.

My abuelo was a little afraid to hold Ava the first couple of times we went down there. He said he wanted to wait until she was a little bigger and not so "wobbly."

Well on Wednesday I had enough and just handed her to him before he could say no. Let's just say that he couldn't get enough of her after that. He talked to her, made her smile the entire time, and if she could have laughed- she would have been cracking up {that's how happy she was with him...}

My abuelo has a soft spot for the granddaughters in the family. I, being the 1st grandchild, was SPOILED rotten by him. Forget the battery operated, life size barbie Jeep that little girls drive around the yard...I was given a little Mercedes Benz. 
He was also the one who bought me my first car. 
So something tells me that Ava is going to be very very loved and {spoiled} as well.  

Later on that day, my grandma's medicine was kicking in and she wanted to take a short nap. Ava and I are always down for a good nap ;) So all 3 of us got into my bed.

{I had my own room there until it became my abuela's when she started having all sorts of back/nerve complications}

Thursday morning... She leads a tough life ;) 

Thursday afternoon "dress up" time. Ava is my life size baby doll. I used to love to dress up my baby dolls when I was younger. I wasn't into the whole Barbie thing. I always wanted dolls so I could pretend they were my babies and push them around in my mini stroller. So now, Ava, you are my doll :) only better! 

...and here are the 2nd pair of shoes that Ava's "Aunt" Michelle Jones bought for her. A pair of TOMS. haha The first pair of shoes she bought her were a pair of Vans 'watermelon' shoes. So cute.  Michelle is making sure that "Ava has style" and "doesn't wear all pink..."  I'm pretty sure that's what she said :) Ohhh Meesh. Thank you, Ava thanks her "cool aunt Mo"           

the Vans...

 Speaking of my Michelle...It was her birthday on Tuesday and we all went to eat at Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza for her birthday dinner :) Later on, some of the girls and I took Michelle for a glass of wine at Tap42.  

from left: me, Sarah, Gabrielle, Michelle the birthday girl

                ...And here we are last night. I was watching TV and Ava beans fell asleep on me.

Hope everyone has a great weekend! Looking forward to cooking some crazy fish that Mark bought when he gets home and having a low key night. Tomorrow we are going to St. Anthony Church's evening mass for Ava's first trip to a Catholic church. So far, she has only been to Mark's Lutheran church. 

Happy Friday!

Monday, January 21, 2013

It All Came Full Circle Today

Today was beyond great for me. 

My friend, Caitlin texted me a couple of days ago and said that she was in town. She asked  if I would like to have lunch with her, Chelsea, and Brittany on Monday. 

I happily accepted - it had been way too long of not seeing these girls. 

me, Brittany holding Ava, Chelsea, and Caitlin in green :) 

So today we met at Shooters on the intracoastal. My favorite part of today was getting to introduce Ava to the girls...but ESPECIALLY to Chelsea Watson.  Chelsea was one of my childhood best friends. I am pretty sure her and I begged our moms to let us play every day after school at her house. Her mom would pull up to St. Anthony School and I would hop into their suburban with Chelsea and her sister - Melissa- and brother- Justin. 
We have so many amazing memories together. 

Chelsea is the reason I met Mark. 

Her parents used to live on Mark's street in Coral Ridge. 
So naturally, I met Mark as he used to ride his go-ped with Chelsea's brother, Justin. 

We would all spend hours outside playing on the street - kick ball, four square, going swimming, pushing each other in the canal, etc. 

Mark even used to write me love notes and I would keep them in Chelsea's room... I couldn't bring them home! Then my mom found find them! ;) haha

So here were are today. Chelsea is a newlywed and is now a fellow 'Mrs. Mc" with me :P

She married Steve McFarland and made a BEAUTIFUL bride! 

...So today was beyond special for me. Getting to see Chelsea hold Ava and know that without Chelsea, Ava wouldn't have been Ava. I may have ended up never knowing Mark, marrying someone else, and having another little baby one day...but it wouldn't have been Ava. It was so special to see the two of them together. It all came full circle today. 

Ava is my everything and it just makes smile seeing her with the friend who made her possible. I pretty much owe A LOT to Chelsea. :) 

Ava could not stop smiling at Chelsea. Love that big gummie smile! Chelsea is so maternal...I could see her becoming a mom very soon and being an amazing one at that. 

I was so happy to be able to see my other good childhood friend Caitlin! She lives in Chicago now with her sweet boyfriend. We were talking about the transition of living here to now Chicago. It was Caitlin's birthday the other day so it was great getting to see her for that too. 

And last but certainly not least, our friend Brittany was there too. She works with Chelsea but I happened to meet her in Tallahassee through our mutual friend - Matt Davenport. Small world. She is one of my crazy, fanatical FSU friends :) 

Now we are back home and Ava is napping. This photo is Ava before her nap. Someone is trying to find her thumb...

{Sometimes I catch her sticking all her fingers in her mouth. She is still learning...} 

So that was our Monday so far. Now to fold laundry and take Ava out for a walk when she wakes up. :) 

Hope everyone is having a nice MLK Day Monday.

Friday, January 18, 2013

"Meeting Kristine's Kiddos!" Snapshots of Today 1-18-13

 I may be doing this this "Snapshots" thing more often. Less wordy and more memory through pictures for future recollection. {Unless I really have a lot to say...}

Today was a great day. 
I was invited by an old high school pal, Kristine, to come over to her home and meet her son and newborn daughter. Her daughter is only about 2 weeks younger than Ava. 

I jumped at the opportunity. First of all, I haven't seen her in FOREVER. Second of all, having mom friends at this point of your life is VITAL. I am still learning and so having people to talk to and help you along the way is great. Her and several other girls from high school, college, and just people I have met through them have been such a great support system for me. 

{So a long, overdue, THANK YOU !!! to: 
Justine, Kristine, Vana, Mallory, Shaara, Brittney, Karina, Christine, MaryAnn, Katie, & Fabiana 
(anyone I forgot to list here- I'm sorry!!)

When you're a new mom it is so nice to have other moms who know exactly what you're going through. These ladies helped me register for gifts and all sorts of tips&tricks. So again, thank you! :O)

Back to today....

Started off by Ava watching her 1st episode of Sesame Street. You don't understand how happy this makes me. {I secretly LOVE Elmo's voice} 
Yes, she is "watching." I see her staring at the colorful, moving objects on TV. 

While Ava watched Elmo...

I showered and got ready to go to Kristine's house. Since I had a little extra time, I baked her family some fudge brownies. I also attached a little white, flower bow that I bought for her daughter. I see her daughter on Facebook but never wearing any bows! {You know me and little girls wearing bows...}

When I arrived, both kids were napping so this gave me and Kristine a moment to "catch up." Soon after we did, little Carter woke up and I finally got to meet this gorgeous little boy. He is going to be a heart breaker one day! He was a little shy when he first woke up - hence the look on his face as he was probably wondering who the heck I was. 

...And then her adorable baby girl woke up. Kelsey is adorable and it was so cute to see how she looked just like her father and Carter looked just like his mother. 

{maybe....if we decide to have another will be a boy? and look like ME?! :) That would be nice since Ava is all Mark. 

Now I am back home, Ava is napping, and it is time to relax. I have my mango tea in my garnet "Chicago" mug that my best friend, Ali, bought for me. (She has the gold mug with her in Chicago.) We used to drink our coffee together in these when I lived up there. MISS YOU, ALI!
...And now, time to sit back with my ipad and read all the other blogs I follow :)  

I wonder if I need to cook dinner? It's Friday! ...Maybe I can just talk Mark into bringing home some sushi after work :) 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Snapshots of Today 1-17-13

Today was a raining and dreary day...

so naturally this makes me want to be surrounded by books and coffee. 

My mom, Ava, and I decided to head over to Barnes & Noble for a little bit. 

Here is a little recap of today's photos that my mom and I took. 

us in a nutshell 

burp time
Talking to her Nonna Mia

Exhausted after her eventful day out

Ava loves bath time!!!

Well there ya go...Our quiet Thursday.

Hope everyone has a great Friday tomorrow!

Hopefully this cold front doesn't mess up my beach plans for Saturday  o_O
...mama needs a tan!!!



Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Last 2 1/2 Months...

Hello there. 
Just to recap for my own recollection on day when I look back on these posts...

The last 2 1/2 months as a new mom has been quite the experience. It started off a bit rocky with the jaundice, sleepless nights, and a case of mild baby blues. For those of you who aren't familiar with the "baby blues" - it is a simple case of an exhausted new mom. I was emotional (Thanks a lot hormones!) since my body was readjusting to not being pregnant anymore. Thank the Lord that this only occurred a total of about 4 days and only during the last part of the day after I was up all day trying to be a supermom with  brand new baby. 

Back to my recap...

Ava went from 7lbs. 11oz. to now almost 12lbs. She is now awake a lot more (yay) and SMILING! This has been a.w.e.s.o.m.e. 

There is noting like going into her room around 9AM and seeing her jabbering away speaking baby and then gives you a BIG, GUMMIE smile :p

This baby gets cuter by the day, I swear! Ok, I'm a bit biased but whatever. 

Also, I now am a lot more adjusted to being a mom {although it is still crazy to hear me say I am a mom out loud} 

I am learning how to make time for working out, cooking, 
Chicken chili made at noon for dinner later
{blogging}, talking to friends, and finally - making time for "me time!" 
With the help of my mom, I was able to go get a mani-pedi the other day :)

I am not very original with my colors. I always choose a dark red  - the darker the better :)
This one is Skirting the Issue by Essie for  you  fellow Essie polish lovers.

Let's see..

Over these last 2 1/2 months Ava



Being swaddled for naps & bedtime 

When you tickle her chin 

The morning time when she tries to talk 

When Mark gets home and she hears Mark's voice

Her car seat

Long walks in her stroller

The sound of the ocean on her noise machine


When I take too long to make her a bottle

...and that's about it! 

Crazy to think Ava was the one causing this HUGE BUMP!!

Happy she was the result :) Loved being pregnant - but love her being here with us now even more! 

This is where I will wrap it up for now. { I can hear Ava waking up } 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Happy Birthday, Mark!

Happy 28th Birthday, Mark!!!!
Today is his official birthday. Yesterday we were met by a bunch of our friends to surprise Mark. 
We have the greatest friends. Thank you all for coming out.. you made Mark feel very special (he told me so.)
We went to American Social, Tarpon Bend, and later to Tap42 for dinner where he ordered his favorite thing on the menu "the drunken goat burger."

Right now, Mark is golfing with his best friend, Jared, who came into town to surprise him on Friday night. 

After they finish up around noon, he and Jared will meet up with me, Jacki, and Ava for brunch on Las Olas. Tonight, we plan on having dinner at Mark's parents home :) 

{{Happy birthday to my handsome husband. You are the greatest man I know. As cliche' as it sounds, I love you more with each passing day. To me, each year you become more handsome, wiser, and even more of a gentleman. You are an amazing and loyal friend to all that you befriend and I know your friends all love you so much for it. 
Happy birthday, my love.}}

Friday, January 4, 2013

Holidays 2012

Sooo...this holiday season kicked my butt!!!! It was so amazing yet so exhausting! 
This is a little review (because I don't have much time but need to catch up...) 

Christmas photos taken at Colee Hammock Park in Fort Lauderdale. This used to be a party spot in high school and now is a family picture taking spot for me :) ha. I love this park. Mark and I would walk Las Olas, go to Kilwins, get sweets and then come here to lay around in the park back in the day. So what better place to come for our first family picture! These pictures were done in about 5 min. It was almost time for Ava to eat - and so we hurried! 

This is Ava going to Mark's office for the 1st time. It was their own little West Palm Beach branch office party. Their bigger holiday party was in downtown Ft. Lauderdale prior to this. We attended and Mark won "Top Manager of 2012" and his team lead from West Palm won "Top Team Lead." So proud of the West Palm Branch! Mark is doing a great job and I am so proud of him. 

This was my friend, Rachael Walker's, birthday fun! They themed it as an "Ugly Christmas Sweater Party." This was so great..It was the first time in a {long time} that I was able to see a lot of my friends and throw back a few cocktails with them ;) Luckily, I have great friends that understand my absence!

This was followed by my friend, Nick's birthday also known as "Ricksmas!" We all got together again and celebrated with a pig roast. 

On the 23rd, Mark's Aunt, Uncle, and cousin came down from ND to visit. They own a house in Naples, FL as well and so they come down from time to time. We were so happy to see them. They wanted to charter a yacht and so we thought what better company to use than Charter One Yachts! Also, who needs to pay a captain when we have one in the family... So Mark gladly took out his "other love" and we enjoyed our cruise. 

Ava's 1st boat ride :) 

Christmas Eve was a bittersweet. Every year since birth I have spent it in Miami with my Vega family. It is "Noche Buena" and is spent roasting pig, staying up late, and quality time with the Cuban side of my family. My grandmother has not gotten any better since her back surgery and so she didn't think it would be a good idea to have the entire family over... 
So this was 1st year that I attended Mark's Lutheran church for Christmas eve service and then to his parents' house for dinner. It was beautiful - but I did miss my family.
We did go and visit my grandparents earlier that day to drop off gifts. 

And then, CHRISTMAS MORNING! My friend, Megan Nolan, bought Ava this adorable elf hat and cute! My mom bought her this reindeer outfit with a tutu. Love it. It was a great morning of opening gifts followed by Mark cooking me, my mom, and grandma breakfast. Later that day, we went to his parents house for Christmas dinner and saw all of the fun gifts that Santa brought Tommy and Luke. 

Later that night, Mark and I took Ava to my friend, Kyle Shea's, home. It is a tradition for my friends and their parents to have dessert, coffee, and cocktails at the Shea's every Christmas evening. I love going every year because all of us are reunited- even if it is for one night. It was awesome to be able to introduce my friends and their parents (who watched me grow up) to my daughter! {{{wow, it still sounds weird to me when I say "my daughter."}}}
Also, you could tell this year was different... 
Usually, after at the Shea's home, all of the younger people (us) decide to go out until about 5am because we haven't been together like that in a while...(some of us live out of state now)
This year: I had a baby, most of us had jobs to go to in the morning, and so there was no "late night" this year :( All the kids are growing up! 
(Sorry, no pictures from this)

On the 26th, my friend Kelly (blonde below) texted us girls and said to meet up at Tap42 that night. After a day of returns and shopping, I was excited to see my girls! 

Many of the girls had left by this picture taken below-  and then we bumped into a few more yahoos from high school ;)

Later that week, Mark's dad, step mom, and brothers flew in from Oregon! This was awesome. We went out for dinners, rode around Ft. Lauderdale in the water taxi, and did some MORE bow shopping for Ava's cute little head. (Someone take my wallet, I can't help it!)
Grandma Sue McGuire getting to meet Ava!

All of the brothers: the Lorenz boys & the McGuire boys...and little bitty AVA BEANS

Then there was this day... nothing special - I just LOVE this picture, that's all :) 
How freaking cute is our kid?!?! I could kiss her all day long...and I do. 

And then before you knew it, it was finally New Years Eve. We decided to stay in with Ava and have our first family new years eve together at home :)

And finally, our beloved Seminoles played and won the Orange Bowl! Our seats were amaze-balls and we had a great time. It was our first night without Ava. 

 She did well at her grandmas and we partied like pre-baby days! ha 
I missed my girl so much that I woke up after only 4 hours of sleep to go and pick her up... 

Suresh flew in from Dallas :) Great seeing him! 

Well, I am sure I missed A LOT, but it has been a challenge to sit down and be able to record all of this...

Hope everyone had a great holiday season!