The Ashley Maria Blog
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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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Saturday, May 13, 2017

Welcome Joseph Michael

Hi friends! You probably have been wondering where I have been for the last month. Well if you follow me on instagram then you already know I have been taking these last couple weeks to get to know our new baby boy!

Joseph Michael Melchionna arrived April 8, 2017 at 11:05pm. He weighed 7.13oz and was 19.5inches long! We are so beyond in love with him and he is just perfect! 

I can't wait to give you all a full recap of his birth story but for now.. here are some pictures of our little man!

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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Bathroom Renovation

I felt like this project would never get finished, but it is complete and I am so happy with the way it turned out! We made our upstairs 1/2 bath into a full bath and boy did it make a difference! It is so airy and bright and SO MUCH BIGGER!!

Here is what the old half bath looked like. It's not horrible, but with the potential to make it into a full we knew it would not only be convenient, but also put value onto our house when it was time to sell. 

Demo began shortly before the holidays. You will see from these pictures there was a linen closet directly outside the 1/2 bath that would need to be removed. 

There was also about a foot and a 1/2 of awkward space when you walked up the stairs. So that added to the size of our new full bath!

Once that demo was complete. The new wall was able to be put in. Charger of course would need to inspect to make sure it would be big enough. We left the toilet in the original part of the bathroom until after the holidays. Hello pregnant women who uses the bathroom every 2 hours was not about to walk down stairs in the middle of the night.

Once the holiday's were over, our contractors got back to work. They removed the toilet (which like I said before.. hi preggo women was not too happy walking down the stairs!) and started re-configuring the plumbing. The new walls, window, and lighting was also put in. My father in law (who's a plumber) put in the shower and the new tile was able to be finished. Also the whole room was painted. 

I originally wanted the shower tile to be a beige, but then returned it all and decided to go with a white subway looking tile. I love that choice. It just fits and matches the sink! The vanity and medicine cabinet were the next things to be 

One thing I had not taken into consideration when planning this construction was this new wall. The paint that should 'match' we did not have, since the hallway paint is the same paint in the stairwell and downstairs living room. When we moved into the house, we couldn't decide on a color, so left the original paint. Ut oh.. So what to do when you can't match paint, make an accent wall of course!!

The accent wall is actually wall paper that I originally purchased for the nursery, but decided against using. We will get around to painting the rest of the hallway one day, but let me just stare at my faux shiplap looking wall for a few minutes!!

Last step before I could come in and work my design magic was hooking up the plumbing and installing the sink and toilet. My father in law and dad did this step.

and finally it was finished!! I changed the knobs on the original vanity to these vintage looking faucet knobs. I was most excited to fill the medicine cabinet up with all our toiletries. When you go without a whole bathroom for months, you celebrate the little things like not having to pull your advil out of a reusable grocery bag.  

Vanity | Ikea
Sink | Ikea
Medicine Cabinet | Ikea
Knobs | Hobby Lobby
Glass Canisters | Pottery Barn
Magnolia Wreath | Hobby Lobby
Hand Towel | Target
Rug | Target (similar)
Shower Curtain | Target
other decorative items are all old

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Friday, March 24, 2017

Baby Boy Nursery | Part 2

About a month ago I posted some pictures of Baby Joey's nursery. Well I'm happy to say that since then we have finished the nursery (well is any room actually finished) and are just waiting for his arrival now!

After having a doctors appointment this week, it was determined he is very happy and content and will probably arrive closer to 41 weeks! Come on little man, we are all anxious to meet you!!

Most of the sources are listed below, but if there is something you have a question about, just shoot me a comment :)

Dresser & Changing Table: Vintage-Painted
Glider & Ottoman: Gift from Family Friend
Football Pillow- Target
Baseball Pillow- Target
Mickey Mouse - Disney Store
Side Table: Vintage- Painted
Baseball Lamp- Hobby Lobby
Mit Clock- Hobby Lobby
Pitcher Statue- Hobby Lobby
Frames on Wall- Michael's
Storybook Quotes- DIY (coming soon)
Baseball Rug- Buy Buy Baby
Crib- Pottery Barn
Bedding- Buy Buy Baby
Mobile- Buy Buy Baby
Curtains- Ikea
Red Wagon- Hobby Lobby (similar)
Books- Gifts
Chair & Slipcover- Pottery Barn
Football Plaques- Good Will Find
Stuff Basket- Home Goods
Shelf- Hobby Lobby
ABC Letters- Michael's
Baseball Mit- Joe's
Yankee's Jacket- Joe's
Baseball Bank- gift (I think Babies R Us)
Toy Chest- Ikea
Large Teddy Bear- Christmas Tree Shop
Stuffed Animals- Various
Trophies- Vintage
Initials- Michael's
Frame- Hobby Lobby
Pennant- Vintage
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Monday, March 6, 2017

Little Slugger Baby Shower

This past Sunday, we celebrated our little man with none other then a baseball theme baby shower hosted by my mom and mother in law! Everything was perfect! We celebrated with great friends and family and plenty of food and desserts. And can we just talk about all the gifts we received! This little boy surely is spoiled, but 100% okay with that! Here are some pictures from the big day!

My mom made the centerpieces! Aren't they just adorable and they even have embroidered M's on each hat!! They match the invites I made for the shower. Side note, if you know me, it was hard giving up the rein's on throwing a party. So I made the invites and chose the theme, however my mom really took the harness and ran with it. Hey.. I get it from my mama!

My mom making sure the balloons were looking good.

My outfit: Dress- Asos, maternity, Wedges- Target (so comfortable!), Necklace- old (similar)
Invites & Additional Card: Ash's Party Accents
Bakery Items: Buttercups Bakery, Roseto Bakery & Homemade!

 It was a great day, and Joe and I can't thank everyone enough! 
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