Avery Turns One

Avery Jean Tafoya June 19, 2015 3:35 AM 8 lbs 22" long

Avery Jean
3:35 AM
8 lbs 22″ long

I am sitting down to write this post and it still seems so unreal to me that my baby girl is turning one.  It seems like only yesterday that I was sitting in the back of the car with her on the way home from the hospital.  I can remember Alex and I talking about how we almost couldn’t even look at her without crying.

Baby girl on her first car ride. Daddy drove super careful and mommy rode in the backseat with baby. It was the longest drive ever.

Baby girl on her first car ride. Daddy drove super careful and mommy rode in the backseat with baby. It was the longest drive ever.

The day our lives were forever changed.

The day our lives were forever changed.

I can remember our first night at the hospital and Alex was holding Avery and singing “Rock-a-Bye Baby” to her. I can remember how much love in my heart there was for both of them at that moment, I though my heart would burst.  Avery is a pretty lucky girl to have such an amazing daddy.  It is so fun to watch him with her.

Dinner time fun with daddy.

Dinner time fun with daddy.

We do a lot of baby wearing at our house. Daddy even got his own Tula for baby!

We do a lot of baby wearing at our house. Daddy even got his own Tula for baby!

Today is Father’s Day as well as Avery’s first birthday so I wanted to throw a quick shout out to my husband. Thank you for all you do for our family. You work so hard so that I can stay home with her and we are so blessed for that. Thank you for rubbing my feet when I was swollen and pregnant and for putting up with my crazy hormones before and once she was here. Avery is really lucky to have you to call daddy. It melts my heart when she lights up when you come home and when she loves on you.

Those first couple of days, weeks even were full of so many emotions.  Here we were with this new life and all of a sudden we were in charge of keeping her alive!  There were so many things that we were adjusting to.  One thing that was really important to me was breastfeeding.  While preparing for her arrival, I went to a class and did a lot of research and reading.  I guess I was not aware of how hard it was going to be.

A baby nursing at a mother's breast... is an undeniable affirmation of our rootedness in nature. ~David Suzuki

A baby nursing at a mother’s breast… is an undeniable affirmation of our rootedness in nature. ~David Suzuki

Her latch was not great at first and I was cracked, sore, and bleeding, but I pushed through and went to a support group to seek out help when she was only 5 days old.  My mom took me and it was one of the best things I could have ever done for us.  Not only did I find the advice and support I needed, but I stumbled upon the most amazing women that would soon lead to our playgroup that we go to every week.

I cannot tell you how blessed I feel to have become part of that playgroup.  It is such a great way for Avery to build her social skills and has been a great outlet for me as well.  I have built amazing relationships with these other mommies and it is so fun to watch our babes grow up together!  I look forward to our playgroups and get together every week!

This was our first playgroup date we went to! Look at How tiny they all are! Avery couldn't even sit up by herself and leaned on her buddy Theodore for support! I knew that day that we stumbled upon something great!

This was our first playgroup date we went to! Look at How tiny they all are! Avery couldn’t even sit up by herself and leaned on her buddy Theodore for support! I knew that day that we stumbled upon something great!

This is one of my favorite pictures from playgroup! Introducing my daughter, the camera hog!

This is one of my favorite pictures from playgroup! Introducing my daughter, the camera hog!

We celebrate monthly birthdays!

We celebrate monthly birthdays!

Park fun!

Park fun!

Just a quick shout out to my playgroup mommies and babies!  Thank you for including us in the group!  I cherish the moments, laughs, and support from you all and look forward to many more as the babies grow!

Back to breastfeeding for a minute, I have a few pictures I want to share.  It was such an accomplishment for us to make it this far and to celebrate, I have a few pictures to share.  Sorry if it bothers anyone, but I think these pictures are beautiful and to celebrate one year of nursing, here they are!

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This is one of my favorites. We have had so many special moments bonding through this experience and it is very special to me!

This is one of my favorites. We have had so many special moments bonding through this experience and it is very special to me!

It is crazy what a journey breastfeeding has been for me.  I am sure there will be some people shocked that I shared these pictures, but they. Really do mean so much to me.  Breastfeeding isn’t something that comes natural like you think it does.  It is hardworking and I am so blessed that I found the r support to make it this far!  Not all moms are that lucky.

Words cannot really describe the feelings and emotions you have when you become a mom for the first time. The love in my heart for this girl is bigger than anything I have ever felt before. She is my everything. Her giggles, smiles, and curiosity is what keeps me going everyday and I’m so lucky to have her call me mama.

Avery has such an amazing personality. She can literally light up a room wherever she goes.  She loves to wave hello and grin at anyone she sees.  That little nose scrunch and toothy smile will brighten anyone’s day.  She loves to give kisses and hugs.  My girl melts my heart everyday.  I find myself looking at her in awe and just thinking how lucky I am to have this sweet girl in my life.  She is curious, smart, adventurous, and tough.  I will do a separate post about her birthday part, but for now I leave you with some of my favorite pictures of Avery this year!

This is one of my favorite pictures of Avery and me.

This is one of my favorite pictures of Avery and me.

Avery's first Halloween!

Avery’s first Halloween!

My girl really knows how to work a camera! Look at that grin!

My girl really knows how to work a camera! Look at that grin!

Everyone always asks, does she ever cry? And yes, though she is usually very happy, she does have her moments!

Everyone always asks, does she ever cry? And yes, though she is usually very happy, she does have her moments!

The girl loves ribbon spools! She scours the recycling for them everyday and will not put them down until it's time for supper!

The girl loves ribbon spools! She scours the recycling for them everyday and will not put them down until it’s time for supper!

There is nothing more adorable than watching my baby brother in his role of uncle!

There is nothing more adorable than watching my baby brother in his role of uncle!

This bath picture is one of my favorites! Look at that smile!

This bath picture is one of my favorites! Look at that smile!

Boobie Popsicle!s were a big hit when Avery started teething before she was 4 months old!

Boobie Popsicle!s were a big hit when Avery started teething before she was 4 months old!

I love this picture of Avery with her Grandma Tafoya! She was only a few days old here.

I love this picture of Avery with her Grandma Tafoya! She was only a few days old here.

That smile though...

That smile though…

Glammy got Avery this sweet ride on toy that is one of her favorites! I love this picture!

Glammy got Avery this sweet ride on toy that is one of her favorites! I love this picture!

Two things Avery loves....bubbles and swinging!

Two things Avery loves….bubbles and swinging!

Avery got to help grandad feed the calf a bottle. The girl loves animals. Look at that smile!

Avery got to help grandad feed the calf a bottle. The girl loves animals. Look at that smile!

Daddy and Avery off-roading on the trail!

Daddy and Avery off-roading on the trail!

Avery Jean and her Great Grandma Wanda Jean!

Avery Jean and her Great Grandma Wanda Jean!

Avery on her first visit to the pumpkin patch with her Godmother Jillana.

Avery on her first visit to the pumpkin patch with her Godmother Jillana.

Avery with my Grandpa Underhill that passed away this year. I am so glad we have pictures to cherish before he was gone.

Avery with my Grandpa Underhill that passed away this year. I am so glad we have pictures to cherish before he was gone.

Avery with her Uncle Paul on Christmas!

Avery with her Uncle Paul on Christmas!

Avery loves to share her food!

Avery loves to share her food!

Avery with one of her Godmothers, Jenna.

Avery with one of her Godmothers, Jenna.

Avery is all smiles for Gege!

Avery is all smiles for Gege!

Avery and her Great Grandpa Bloesser in their jammies.

Avery and her Great Grandpa Bloesser in their jammies.

Avery and her Pa!

Avery and her Pa!

This picture melts my heart! Chloe absolutely loves Avery!

This picture melts my heart! Chloe absolutely loves Avery!

I love this picture of Avery and her Grandpa Tafoya!

I love this picture of Avery and her Grandpa Tafoya!

Granny loves to get some Avery time!

Granny loves to get some Avery time!

Avery with her doggies Chloe & Mia after breakfast on the patio.

Avery with her doggies Chloe & Mia after breakfast on the patio.

Avery with her Great Aunt Janice.

Avery with her Great Aunt Janice.

Avery and her Aunt Heather and Aunt Shalie.

Avery and her Aunt Heather and Aunt Shalie.

Well as many of you know, I have about a million pictures of this little cutie, but I think I will stop there.  I will leave you with a video of Avery’s One Year Photo Shoot by the amazing and talented Kelley Baker.  Not only did she capture these beautiful pictures, but she also created this darling slideshow of the pictures for us to cherish.  Thank you Kelley!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Round Steak Fajitas

Alex and I went in on a half side of beef with my sister and her husband last year.  It is so nice to just go straight to the deep freeze and pull out whatever I need to thaw.  The one thing that never gets pulled?  Tenderized Round Steak.  I have finally figured out a few recipes to help get rid of some of the tenderized round steak in our beef stash.

This recipe can be substituted with regular steak, which would be delicious as well.  What I like about this recipe is that I can get everything cut earlier in the day and have it ready to put together when I am ready to make supper.

I had already sliced up my peppers and onions before I decided to do a blogpost on this, so here is everything prepped as I get ready to slice up my tenderized round steak.

I had already sliced up my peppers and onions before I decided to do a blogpost on this, so here is everything prepped as I get ready to slice up my tenderized round steak.

I make a little marinade with olive oil, chili powder, cayenne, garlic powder, red chili flakes, salt, and pepper. I don't really measure anything and just give it a good stir.

I make a little marinade with olive oil, chili powder, cayenne, garlic powder, red chili flakes, salt, and pepper. I don’t really measure anything and just give it a good stir.

Toss in your steak slices.

Toss in your steak slices.

Put a lid on, give it a good toss, throw it in the fridge and forget about it for a few hours!

Put a lid on, give it a good toss, throw it in the fridge and forget about it for a few hours!

I sauté' the veggies first with a little olive oil and garlic powder. I usually use minced garlic, but we were out. The tenderized round steak cooks pretty cook, so don't throw that in before the veggies are soft or it will be way too tough.

I sauté’ the veggies first with a little olive oil and garlic powder. I usually use minced garlic, but we were out. The tenderized round steak cooks pretty cook, so don’t throw that in before the veggies are soft or it will be way too tough.

Add the tenderized round steak and cook until done. Don't they look yummy?

Add the tenderized round steak and cook until done. Don’t they look yummy?

So good! I was even being good, as I used greek yogurt instead of sour cream!

So good! I was even being good, as I used greek yogurt instead of sour cream!

I will leave you with my adorable daughter sharing her quesadilla tonight.  First with daddy...

I will leave you with my adorable daughter sharing her quesadilla tonight. First with daddy…

And then with mommy from across the table!  My heart is so full!

And then with mommy from across the table! My heart is so full!

 

 

Mother’s Day

Me and baby girl doing skin to skin at the hospital. My heart grew a whole lot bigger the days she joined our family. I never knew you could love someone that much.

Me and baby girl doing skin to skin at the hospital. My heart grew a whole lot bigger the days she joined our family. I never knew you could love someone that much.

Today is my first Mother’s Day.  I had a pretty amazing day today.  Woke up at 6:30 AM thanks to the sweet girl who calls me mama.  Breakfast for her in bed as usual, then Alex made me French toast.  Not just any French toast, but Martha Stewart French toast.  He even substituted Grand Marnier instead of orange zest and added some cinnamon sugar (yum)!  It was delicious. He didn’t even make a gluten free substitute, so he didn’t even get to try it!  He usually makes a few pieces for him, but it was just for me and it is a lot of work, so I felt pretty special.  Avery didn’t even get any because it takes awhile to make and that girl needed a nap.  She had a waffle instead and mommy got to relax a bit.

Alex and I had coffee on the porch, where I walked out to a rose and card.

Alex and I had coffee on the porch, where I walked out to a rose and card.

It was sweet because he slipped it out there and I was surprised. Avery did not take much of a nap, so we brought her out on the patio with us and she played in her exersaucer while we ate. I love eating breakfast with my family and eating outside!

Martha Stewart's French toast is amazing! Thanks honey!

Martha Stewart’s French toast is amazing! Thanks honey!

Here’s My Mother’s Day gift from Avery!

It was supposed to start raining so Alex decided to mow.  I have been wanting to plant some flowers and so Avery and I went and got sweet potato vine and flowers!  It was nice spending time together.  It started sprinkling right as we were finishing up.  We had so much fun!

Getting ready to plant some stuff with my beautiful baby girl! What a perfect Mother's Day!

Getting ready to plant some stuff with my beautiful baby girl! What a perfect Mother’s Day!

After Avery's afternoon nap we snuggled and watched Curious George!

After Avery’s afternoon nap we snuggled and watched Curious George!

The rest of the day consisted of FaceTiming with his mom and mine.  We then went and had burgers and ice cream.  It was a great end to the day!  I have to throw a huge shout out to my husband who works so hard for our family that I get to stay home with my sweet girl and get to soak in everything it is to be a mommy!  Thank you Alex.  I love you and couldn’t really be a mommy without you!

This past year has been so crazy.  Being a mother is something I have always wanted to do and I am so blessed to get to enjoy every moment with my little cutie.  She is a little mini me and I love her to pieces.  She brings so much joy into our lives.  I can’t believe I am planning her first birthday already.  I can’t believe how fast it really goes!  I love that sweet girl!

A few shout outs to some amazing mommies in my life!

Happy Mother's Day to my sister, I mean my mother!  You are beautiful inside and out.  I owe everything to you.  Thank you for all that you are and all that you do.  You are such a strong and hardworking woman.  I love you so much.

Happy Mother’s Day to my sister, I mean my mother! You are beautiful inside and out. I owe everything to you. Thank you for all that you are and all that you do. You are such a strong and hardworking woman. I love you so much.

A shout out to my amazing mother-in-law JoAnn! If it weren't for her, we would not have Alex! Thanks for all you do and still do!

A shout out to my amazing mother-in-law JoAnn! If it weren’t for her, we would not have Alex! Thanks for all you do and still do!

This beautiful lady here is my mom's mom. There would be no me with out her either! She is such an inspiration! She is so creative and I don't know what I would do without her! We love you Grandma Bloesser!

This beautiful lady here is my mom’s mom. There would be no me with out her either! She is such an inspiration! She is so creative and I don’t know what I would do without her! We love you Grandma Bloesser!

This gorgeous gal is my daddy's mama. I look up to her so much. She is so strong and is always someone I can count on. I love our talks and I cherish so many memories with you! It is one of your lullabies that Avery loves and I know it because of you! Bimbo!!!

This gorgeous gal is my daddy’s mama. I look up to her so much. She is so strong and is always someone I can count on. I love our talks and I cherish so many memories with you! It is one of your lullabies that Avery loves and I know it because of you! Bimbo!!!

Just wanted to say thank you to all the important mommies in my life.  The list could go on, because I have a ton of beautiful mommy friends that help me get through all the craziness of motherhood.  So thank you to all of you other mommies out there!

 

 

 

 

 

No Bake Lactation Cookies

I took this picture one day while I was nursing Avery. I thought to myself what a special bond we share and I didn't ever want to forget that moment. Look at those beautiful blues!

I took this picture one day while I was nursing Avery. I thought to myself what a special bond we share and I didn’t ever want to forget that moment. Look at those beautiful blues!

When I started breastfeeding, I came across a few lactation cookie recipes on Pinterest, but I never tried any of them.  I had it in my mind that they would not taste like real cookies and I would not like them.  However, I had tried a new diet at the beginning of the year and after just 3 days, my milk supply dropped drastically.  I was in a panic to get my milk supply back up.

There are several things you can do to increase milk production if you find you have a dip in your supply.  I am a milk cow, so I didn’t think I would ever have to try to increase my supply.  There are several things that I was doing to get it back up.  Some mothers take fenugreek, drink mother’s tea, etc.  I started off with power pumping and drinking lots of water.  I had heard moms say that lactation cookies were a good thing to try.  I spent many hours pinning away trying to find a recipe for lactation cookies that I could try.

This recipe was definitely a winner.  The ingredients reminded me of a no bake cookie that I had tried at a friends house, so I was hoping they would taste the same.  My recipe is adapted from the Boobie Bites recipe from a blog called I Can Teach My Child.  What I like about this recipe is that they make me feel like I’m being naughty, but they are actually pretty healthy for you!  I usually make a batch every week or so throw them in the fridge and they are easy to grab and go!  And the best part of the recipe?  The fact that they do work!  I could definitely tell a difference in my supply!

No Bake Lactation Cookies

Stars of the show...

Stars of the show…

1 1/2 c old fashioned oatmeal

3/4 c ground flaxseed

3/4 c coconut flakes

3/4 c chocolate chips

3/4 T Brewer’s Yeast

3/4 c peanut butter

1/2 c raw honey

splash of vanilla

Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl.

Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl.

Add peanut butter, honey, and vanilla and mix thoroughly.

Add peanut butter, honey, and vanilla and mix thoroughly.

Cover the mixture and refrigerate an hour or so.  

Cover the mixture and refrigerate an hour or so.

After chilling in the fridge, roll into cookie balls and enjoy!

After chilling in the fridge, roll into cookie balls and enjoy!