The Ashley Maria Blog

Friday, April 3, 2020

Vincent Daniel | Two Months

Once again, I am late posting the monthly photo. But as I'm sure your life is right now, everything is out of sorts. 

Speaking of the current situation, I will take this time to address is. I am scared, trying to stay calm, but my anxiety usually gets the best of me when I lay down. I watch the news and seeing all the local press conferences, sends my head into a whirl wind. I see things on social media and my brain goes to the worst case scenario. So this blog is a little outlet of joy. please don't take it as I'm being insensitive posting happier times, house decor, activities.. but I know I love still checking out my favorite bloggers because like I said before.. the news, the press conferences, the social media stories, they all get to be so much to handle. So if you stick around, I will try to stay as positive as possible, and later this week I will be sharing some activities we've been doing to stay busy during this stay at home time!

Anyway, back to Vinny! He's growing so fast, and I pulled out pictures of Joey this age- Ya'll they are TWINS! It's too funny!

Two Month: March 7, 2020
Weight: 10lbs
Height:  inches
Diet:  formula
Sleeping:  about 10 hours per night
Clothing Size:  0-3 months
Diaper Size: size 1's

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Thursday, April 2, 2020

Home Tour | Kitchen

Wow! It has been a little over a year since we moved into our dream home. When we moved in, we knew we didn't have to do much to the house, except make it feel more of our own. Right after closing, we had our former neighbor or as we like to call him 'painter man' come and give us an estimate and pick our paint colors. I decided to go with Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter for the whole house, minus the bedrooms. 
Let me back track and say, if we didn't want to, the house really wouldn't have needed a full paint job. However the golden tan color it was, just wasn't my style for it to be throughout the whole house. Our old home I didn't paint, and hated it every day! But something that I NEEDED to change, was the island color. I'm assuming the original color was white or maybe a grey, which would have been fine with me. However, the previous owners painted the island and the cabinets below the sink and above the microwave ROYAL BLUE. Now I know what you are thinking, that's not bad.. but the backsplash is seafoam greens and teal colored blues and the pendant lights above the island as well. It just clashed so. dang. bad. So, as a last minute decision (because I was torn on colors) I went with the same greyish color that was in our bedroom. Now the back splash pops, and it matches our decor so much better!! Our painted also painted the cabinets I mentioned before back to white. They don't match perfectly, but in this picture and unless you knew, you could barely tell.

We decided not to go with a kitchen table in here and leave the space open instead. We did just recently put this bar top table we were storing from our bar basement we had in the basement bar area, to add extra seating! When we first moved in and Joey was smaller, we put his play table in the kitchen area for him to eat out, however as he grew and became Mr. Independent, he now sits at the island stools as well. Since we have three of us typically eating there, one of us usually sits on the Ikea stool! Not ideal, but if its just for a quick bit, we don't feel like cleaning off the dining room table to eat!

I tried to link most sources, however if there is something you see that is not listed, just let me know!

Island Stools | Amazon
Bar top Table & Stools | Walmart
Kids Table & Chairs | Buy Buy Baby
Let's Eat Sign | Hobby Lobby
Kitchen Sign | Old (HomeGoods?)
Striped Planter | Target
Canisters | Macy's
Dog Treats Jar | Rae Dunn
Bread Box | Amazon- Similar
Clock | Lowe's 
Mix it Up Sign | Hobby Lobby

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Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Vinny's Birth Story

I can't believe it's been almost three months since Vinny was born! Boy did that fly by. 
I tell all my friends that are expecting or trying for their second child- its so much easier with the second.  Now don't get me wrong.. it's tough adjusting to two needy kids, but I mean it is a lot easier bringing home a newborn having the knowledge of already going through it!
Meet Vinny!
Vincent Daniel Melchionna 
Born January 7,2020
Weighs 7lbs 5 oz
Height 19.5 inches

So, into the actual labor.. I had wrote about Joey's birth story, so I thought it was only fitting I had to do the same for Vinny. If it could help someone mentally prepare for what's to come, then that's all I would want to do! If you are only here for the cute baby pictures or the pretty stuff, here is your time to turn away!

I had a routine appointment on Christmas Eve, and was so surprised when the dr. told me I was dilated 2 cm already! That was the biggest hope, because this whole pregnancy I had been dealing with severe back pain, everything hurt, especially my pelvis area and was just so uncomfortable.  She told me his head was so far into my pelvis, she couldn't even get an accurate length of him! Again, so much hope that labor was near. Christmas came and went and I was on to my next appointment. At that appointment she gave me even more hope, saying I could be induced at 38 weeks due to where he was positioned, starting dilation, and my second pregnancy. She said I would have to call a number to see if they could 'fit me in' and it could literally be the next afternoon! So I did what she said, unfortunately, they wanted me to wait until I turned 38 weeks and then they would schedule me. New Year's came and went and still no Vinny!

I called the morning of 38 weeks ( a Monday) and they scheduled me for the following Monday, January 6 at 7am. But said he could very well come before then. But of course not. I did not sleep that whole night before and just prayed it would be an easier labor this time around.

After checking in, I kept being assured it would go faster since it was the second pregnancy, so I figured we would have our baby boy by noon that day! It didn't go like that at all. I didn't even get my epidural until around 2pm that day, and instead of going fast, it felt it was even slower then Joey's labor. Immediately after I got my epidural my blood pressure dropped and Vinny's spiked. They had to stop the pitocin until it would get back on track, then start it up again. We played this game until god knows when. Each time, they would try turning me onto my side or sit back, but same thing would happen. I basically had to sit straight up for 12 hours while still in active labor. I couldn't feel my right leg at all and I did not like that feeling on bit.  Finally around 1:30am during my check, I was dilated enough. The doctors came in and it was go time. Thankfully with only three pushes, Vinny was born.

After his delivery and the exam by the doctors, they told me they now knew why his blood pressure kept dropping when they tried to get me comfortable.. he had wiggled so much during his time inside, he somehow got his umbilical cord into a tight knot. When they would roll me to my side, he would lay on the cord causing his blood pressure to drop.

When I think back, it really wasn't that bad. If i didn't have everyone telling me that it would be so much easier or go so much faster, I think it would have been alot better. However, recovery was so much easier this time around as well.

We are so in love our little Vinny! I thank my lucky stars everyday for a healthy and happy baby!

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Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Potty Training | What Worked for Us

Ugh, the dreaded potty training! If you have a young child then you know the struggles that go along with that if you have a stubborn child. We have friends that their kids took to the potty right away and it was so easy. Us on the other hand, it has been an ongoing struggle for a few months. Now, this is what worked for us! Every child is different, and I'm sure from Joey to Vinny it will be a completely different experience. So use your judgement- but I thought I would share how we got Joey to use the potty!
We have had toddler training pants in our home for a while now. I wanna say we purchased them when Joey turned two years old, but we were just waiting to use them. Around 2 1/2 we decided we would try over a long weekend- well of course that weekend, Joey got the stomach bug.. so there was no way we were going to try then. We did start however asking him if he wanted to go on the potty when we knew he was 'trying' aka hiding in the corner when he had to go number 2 or would always shiver before he pee'd in his diaper!
My parents, who watch Joey twice a week for us; bought Joey a Paw Patrol toddler potty thinking that would excite him into using it. Instead he would use it as as stepping stool to look out their front porch window. At our house we installed a new seat which has a magnetic smaller child's seat.  Upstairs in his bathroom, we got a Mickey toddler seat to put over the big one. 
With my pregnancy getting later and later, we were very eager to get him out of diapers so that we would have two to change. We would put training undies on him over the weekend, but instead of resorting to the potty, he would hold it in all day until we would put a pull up or diaper on him, and then he would soak it. 
Joey started 'trying' at school after seeing some other kids do it. Meaning he would start at least sitting on the potty, even though nothing would come out. Hey, it was a start! About a week or two after having Vinny, he has a snow storm and were stuck inside all day. We knew this would be our time to try. 

We started that morning, by getting Joey excited to try the potty and making a big deal out of it. Previously I had picked up a bunch of matchbox cars at Target to use as incentives for doing his business. We covered all the couch cushions and chairs with blankets and towels and let Joey go commando. He asked him every 20 minutes if he had to go and would march him into the bathroom and show him what he could have if he went on the potty! It took a couple hours, but finally he had to go. Joe and I made sure he knew how excited and proud we were of him and made a huge deal when he actually went. He actually even went number 2 that same day!! Don't get me wrong, there were pee accidents that happened that weekend, but it was such a good start! At night we put him a pull up, which he did pee in. But still, after being potty trained for two months, he still does. That whole week, he kept up with the incentives which included stickers, small snacks as treats and even a bigger gift if we went all week at school. There was accidents, which he would get really upset about, but that made us realize he understands the whole training thing if he's getting upset! 
Two months in, and there are still some accidents that occur, but he is only going to be 3. Heck sometimes when I sneeze I pee myself! What do you expect!!!We are so so proud of him, and even though it was a long journey, seeing how excited he got when he went the first time was totally worth it!
Like I said before, every child is different, and this is what worked for us. Joey sits down when he pees so I know when it comes time for him to stand up that will be a different story. He also will sometimes sit on the toilet for a few minutes before even going. My biggest advice is read your child. If they show signs they are ready, suggest and try, but don't be too pushy. I didn't want to make the potty a negative thing for him! Hope this method helps you too!
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Tuesday, March 10, 2020

JORD Wallet

If you have been around here for a while, you know I love my Jord products! I have numerous wooden watches, Joe has the apple watch band and now I'm so excited to let you all know they just released their newest product.. Vegan Leather Wallet!

It has so much room. There are numerous pockets on each side of the wallet. The thing I love, is you can use this as a clutch and it still looks so stylish. This vegan accessory looks very dressy for dinner out or casual for a shopping trip to the grocery store. There are other colors to chose from, but I went with the black with gold detail!

One of the best things I love about working with Jord is they are known for using  unique  re-claimed  &  natural  materials  to  create  wearable designs.   Their  mission  is  to  create  high  end,  quality,  sustainable  accessories  for  every  day  & occasional  wear. Jord is  a small  family-owned  &  operated  company.  

Best part is they are offering you all a discount code to get your Vegan Leather Wallet! Simply just take this quick survey to receive it today!

I received this wallet from Jord, however all reviews are my own.

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Friday, March 6, 2020

Vincent Daniel | One Month

Oh hello there! remember me! 
I know it's been a hot minute since I posted here. Just have been busy getting used to the new family of four (plus Charger). But here I am, and I hope to get back on track with my daily/ weekly blog schedule!

Today (even though it's a month late) I wanted to give you Vinny's monthly update! He loves his head being rubber, especially when he's falling to sleep. LOVES eating. He is strictly on formula, but he could eat every hour if we let him! He's already rolled from his belly to his back, which I think it crazy for this little and he has a lot of control over his head already!

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One Month: February 7, 2020
Weight: 9.13lbs
Height:  inches
Diet:  formula
Sleeping:  about 2-3 hours per night
Clothing Size: some newborn still, 0-3 months
Diaper Size: size 1's

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Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Valentine's for Toddlers and Teachers 2020

This year for Valentine's Day, Joey's class is really into it. They get to make their own mailboxes to put their Valentine's in and everything. So I wanted to make something non-candy for the kiddos and what 2-3 year old doesn't love dinosaur's? I made the cards and picked up the dino erasers at target. Which they have so many cute favors to grab some last minute ideas for!

Download your own DINO MITE card here!

Dinosaur Erasers
I attached the dinosaurs onto the card with some washi tape I had around the house. and since I know that kids love getting treats as well, I attached a pack of Muddy Buddy to the back with more washi tape!
For Joey's teachers, I found the cutest little teacher treats at Target. If you are looking for last minute teacher gifts, I found these on an end cap in the Valentine's section of our store! I also attached to them a Starbucks gift card and a card. 
Download the card here!

Teacher Pencils
Past Years:
2019 Valentine's
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