The Ashley Maria Blog
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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Joseph Michael.. ONE and TWO Month Update

And just like that two months have flown by. It feels like just yesterday we were at the last baby appointment and the doctor told us the next day I would be admitted. Time needs to slow down!!

Here is a little update of Joey at one and two months!


One Month: May 8, 2017
Weight: 10 lbs
Height: 21.5 in
Diet:  formula 
Sleeping:  2-3 hours at a time
Clothing Size:  Moved up to 0-3 months or just 3 months in some
Diaper Size: moved up to size 1!

Joey is constantly moving his arms all over the place. When we swaddle him, it has to be from the chest down. He is starting to get more rolls on his arms and legs. He lost all the hair on top of his head, yet still has it on the back and crown of his head. We call him grandpa because he has the hair-do of an old man!


Two Month: June 8, 2017
Weight: 12.8 lbs
Height: 24 in
Diet:  formula 
Sleeping:  3-4 hours at a time
Clothing Size:  Moved up to 3-6 months or just 6 months in some
Diaper Size: finishing box of size 1's next box is 2's!

Joey is moving his legs much more. He likes to stomp his feet down while in his swing or boppy. He hates tummy time, but is starting to hold his head up by himself for seconds at a time. His personality is starting to come through like rubbing his eyes when he's tired and loves to 'talk'. He giggles and laughs, especially when he farts! He loves walks in the stroller and car rides. His hair on top of his head is coming back in (thank god!!) 
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Monday, June 19, 2017

Happenings Lately

Since my posts have been a little sparse around here, I thought I would fill you in on some things that have been going on!
I started to go back to work two days a week while my mom watches Joey. It was harder then I thought to leave him on Monday morning after spending 8+ weeks together, but it was also nice to get some 'adult' conversation and time out of the house. I hope that doesn't make me sound horrible, but all new mom's I think can relate. Plus knowing he's with my mom makes the process a whole lot smoother.

At the end of May, our little boy was blessed into the Catholic Church! He was baptized by his Godparents my brother Dale and my best friend Brooke.
 skirt | top | heels
Also at the end of May, I decided it was time to upgrade my car. I say upgrade, because as you can see in the photo, it is the same car, only 5 years newer! 
We celebrated Memorial Day at home this year. We had a wedding Saturday and decided to lounge around Sunday instead of going down the shore. On Monday we went to our friends house for a rainy cook out!
mine: top | shorts (similar) | converse
joey: onesie | shorts | converse | hat

On June 4, Joe and I celebrated our 1 year married anniversary. It seems like forever ago since a lot has happened in that year! 

On Friday my mom and some of my cousins attended a book signing from the wonderful author Adriana Trigiani. She is from my home town and writes about Roseto in most of her books! It was such a pleasure to chat with her and listen to her talk about her new book. I'm already half way through her new book which will be released this tomorrow!!!
As I said before, we had the exterior of our house remodeled and it feels completely new!

Saturday we attended Italian Fest on Main Street in Bethlehem. My little Giuseppe loved strolling around. We even got to meet Carlo from 'The Godfather' series.
Sunday we celebrated Joe's first Father's Day! Isn't this picture just the cutest of the boys together!

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Friday, June 16, 2017

House Renovation Update | Exterior

If you follow along, you may remember in December I made some home resolutions for this year. Home things got pushed back since we have been a little busy with having a newborn! But we decided in May to get some quotes to replace the siding on the house. We had some wind storms in the Spring and the siding was starting to come loose on the side of the house. We were nervous if we waited too long to fix it, the installation would damage causing more of an expense and headache.
Knowing that around this time next year, we most likely will be looking for bigger houses due to the amount of room babies take up, we didn't want to spend the large amount of money to replace all the siding. Instead we decided to go in the painting route for the existing siding. Our contractor was able to fix the loose siding on the side of the house so that wasn't an issue. 

I wanted a paint that matched the brick already in the front of the house, so I decided on Benjamin Moore Carlisle Cream. For the shutters I decided on Benjamin Moore Van Deusen Blue. I think this color really makes the shutters pop against the beige and bricks. 
Disclaimer.. this was NOT a DIY project. Our siding is aluminum so there had to be a special mixture of paint which included a special primer. If you are interested in painting your siding, I would consult with a contractor or your local paint store first!





While all this work was being done, I decided now was as good time as ever to cross another project off our list and re-landscape the front of the house. If you notice from the picture when we first moved into the house, there was three large ever green looking bushes. For some reason the one on the left and part of the one in the middle was dead and needed to be removed. We built up the retaining wall, planted new greenery and flowers and added new mulch. I think it makes the house look bigger without the huge trees! 



We also installed our new mailbox that has been sitting in our garage since our bridal shower last March! It's truly amazing what paint can do. The siding looks brand new! We are so pleased with how it turned out. 
Do you have any to do lists for this Summer? If so I would love for you to share them!
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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Easy Work Day to Date Night Outfit

I recently purchased this dress online from the Loft and could not wait to get it in the mail! I knew it would be a staple in my Summer wardrobe since it was so easy to throw on. Being a new mom, finding time for myself is far and few between. Let me tell you a hot cup of coffee (not reheated three times) is a luxury! and don't even let me get started on a shower. I can't wait to shower without a baby monitor close by or the door open! Even though I joke I wouldn't trade it! 
Before I was pregnant, I think I shopped in Loft maybe two times. I don't know why since now I am obsessed and love all their clothes! 

Sandals- Last Year's Similar, Similar

I'm also loving this similar dress, this dress for summer and purchased this dress as well. Best part is Loft is running a sale! Use code NEWNOW for 40% off! 


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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Summer Styles

While pregnant, I hated shopping for clothes. Maybe it was because I couldn't find anything the fit just right, or because it was winter, or the fact I was large.. could be any of those reasons! But now, I am loving shopping for summer! There are so many cute options and trends out there right now, and the fact I am shopping at my normal shops and sizes helps also!

I have listed a few items I am seeing everywhere right now. I try to not spend a lot on trends because you know what may be in this season is not going to popular next. Some staple pieces such as the straw bag or chunky heel shown below I wouldn't mind spending a little more on since you can incorporate them into a lot of different outfits. Below are some styles for summer I have my eye on. What are some things you are loving for summer?


Off the Shoulder Shirt
Tassle Dresses
Ripped Bottom Jeans
Chunky Heel
Round Sunglasses
Bright Colors
Flutter Sleeves
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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Mother's Day 2017

This Mother's Day was so special this year because it was Joey and I's first one. The amount of calls and texts from friends and family I got to wish me a Happy Mother's Day was so sweet. Even better yet, Joey had a good night and even slept a whole 4 hours straight! 

Joe started off the day making me coffee and grabbing my favorite bagel while I fed Joey. Awaiting on the table was two cards, one from Joe and the other from Joey and Charger. Of course they both made me cry.. blame it on the hormones still! I didn't want a gift, instead I wanted a family weekend of shopping or doing things outside when it gets warmer. 

We had reservations at Hotel Bethlehem in the afternoon. My parents and brother and mother in law and grandmother in law all came over before we headed downtown for lunch. After lunch, the City of Bethlehem was having an art show with vendors on Main Street. The weather became nice after a passing shower, so we walked around for a little. 

I spent the night cuddled up on the couch catching up on some DVR'd shows with Joe and the boys. It was the perfect first mother's day!








my outfit: Dress, Shoes (similar), Earrings (similar)

hope you had a great Mother's Day Weekend!


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Sunday, May 14, 2017

Joey's Birth Story

Happy Mother's Day! This year is so special because I get to celebrate with my baby boy! Since this boy made me a mother, I thought I would share his birth story with you all today!

I will be the first person to admit, being pregnant and delivery is HARD. Your body will go through a lot and you will think you can't do it. But that is why I decided to write this post today. Because you CAN do it! And after it's all done, you will have the most precious baby that is all yours. 

I do want to add that this is my experience and opinions. Everyone's body is different and some may have more difficult to easier pregnancies. This is a long post, so I apologize in advance!

My due date was April 1.. but that date came and went and still no baby boy! At this point I was going to the OB appointments every week. While leaving my appointment the day before my due date the nurses joked, saying they hoped not to see me next week for a scheduled appointment (just in case I went past my due date). Well Thursday April 6 came around, which was my next scheduled appointment and still no sign of baby. I went into the office very tired and frustrated and all the nurses could tell. By this time my ankles were no longer able to be seen and they were now full on 'kankles'. After my exam the doctor decided the best thing to do was to induce me. She was on call that weekend, so she scheduled me to go to the hospital at 8pm Friday April 7. This is when I started to cry in the exam room. I don't know if it was all the emotions knowing that sometime this weekend our baby would be here and all the pregnancy pains would be over and he would finally be in our arms? Or the fear of the actual labor and the unknown?  Either way, Joe and I left the office finally with a plan. We made our necessary calls to our families to let them know. Joe went back to work and I of course went home and cleaned the house. I mean come on.. what else was I suppose to do!

Friday morning started off like every other. Joe went to work because there was no reason for him to stay home. I repacked my hospital bag 3 times, thinking I forgot things (which I packed way more then I needed!) We had an early dinner that night since lord knows when I would actually eat again. Even though it was lent and I was not suppose to eat meat, I had a chicken cheesesteak. I said a prayer for it since I felt so bad, but I think God would forgive me under the circumstances. My parents picked up Charger to keep him at their house for the weekend. Of course I cried when he left.. we'll blame it on the hormones.

We left for the hospital around 7:30pm even though it's 5 minutes away.. ya know just to be on time. Well once we got to labor and delivery, we sat an waited. We waited for 45 minutes before they brought us back to the triage. Once they put us in the room they looked for my paperwork which we completed weeks prior, but they couldn't find it. So I had to complete it all again. At this point I was so annoyed because my biggest pet peeve is people being late and not prepared. It's now about 10pm when they actually began the process. I had an exam and still no dilation. They hooked me up with an IV, three different monitors and blood pressure cuff and then we just wait. Joe was able to sleep for a few hours but there was no way I could sleep. Around 2 am is when I started to feel the contractions. These were unlike the braxton hicks contractions. These were so much more uncomfortable and felt like I had to get up and walk around. As the night went on they only got worse. They gave me oxycotin for the pain. Boy did that send me for a loop. Everything in the room I saw was leopard print and it made me feel like I was drunk. I did not like that at all. But at least it made me sleep for about 2 hours. Around 6am I had another exam and they decided to move me to the delivery room.

Once in the delivery room it was once again the waiting game. I tried to hold off as long as possible to get the epidural since I would have to stay in bed once they did it, but around 1pm I decided it was time. I had an exam about every two hours and it was taking forever to dilate. I was at a rate of 1cm per hour. The nurses tried sitting me up to eat lunch but Joey's vitals spiked so I passed on the broth and opted just for ginger ale. Sometime during this day I also spiked a fever. It wasn't going down, so they had to put me on anti-biotics. 

Around 9pm during the exam I heard the best news yet! I was at 10cm and the doctor said it was time to start pushing. This is when fear really set in, because I've only heard horror stories. The first pushes I thought to myself, 'Man this is a piece of cake' well fast forward to an hour and forty five minutes later of pushing, there was many tears, saying 'I can't do it anymore' and ice pops consumed. Finally the doctor yelled.. STOP PUSHING. Apparently that was a really good push and his shoulder popped out. There was lots of rushing around by the doctors and nurses. They told me I needed just a couple more pushes and he would be here. I'm not quite sure how many more there really were, but with a baseball game on the tv and (talk about irony) our wedding song- Thomas Rhett: Die a Happy Man came on the pandora station, Joseph Michael was born into this world. 

Immediately after he was born they put him on my chest for skin to skin. But it didn't last long since my blood pressure spiked to an unsafe rate. They handed him off to Joe and hooked me up to about 5 monitors. They were able to get it down a little with some meds and oxygen. Since I was on anti-biotics during the labor, Joey had to be put on them too. I was so sad about it, because I felt like it was my fault. They brought him to the NICU to get the smallest IV I've ever seen. They brought him back to me around 3am, and I'm not gonna lie I just stared at him until doctors came in at 6am. I had to keep the blood pressure cuff on throughout the night and it went off every 15 minutes. So there was no sleeping for me!  

I was discharged on Monday night, but I stayed with Joey until Tuesday. Since he was put on anti-biotics so late, he had to stay in their care for 48 hours. Thankfully the nurses arranged for me to stay in my same room with him under a 'night watch' and Joey didn't have to stay in the NICU. All his tests came back negative and he was released Tuesday afternoon!






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