31 January 2010

Married to a Firefighter

31 January
Kenny and I have been together for about 5 1/2 years and married for about a year and a half. When we first started dating he was working at Southern States and I was at the Board of Education. Our work and college lives sucked and we only saw each other on Saturdays...which I would count down to every week. Then as we became attached we began trying to see each other for dinner in the middle of the week then our Saturday night date. Soon it was seeing each other every chance we got or were on the phone with each other (anyone who knows Kenny would be shocked to know the number of hours we spent on the phone but it was a lot).

October 2007, Kenny decided that he was ready to get married even though I had spent the past year begging him to propose so I could start planning the wedding, I knew everything I wanted, I just needed the question and the ring! So he absolutely caught me off guard when he decided to ask me on our 3rd year anniversary. I was in total shock and so excited. He was still at Southern States and I was working at the Visitors Center in Martinsburg. As we were planning to be married, he had began a supervisor program within the organization of Southern States and the states "Alabama, North Carolina, Georgia" were heard more and more because he could have been moved to any store where they wanted him to be at. So we had that going on plus planning. Then in 2008 everything changed. He left Southern States and worked at another farming place in Berryville and started talking about going back to school to get his paramedic. Well all this caught me off guard, I knew he has started college in that program but thought that was long gone. But he was seriously talking about it and looked into the program at Blue Ridge CTC.

June 2008, Martinsburg Fire Fighters placed an ad that they were hiring for EMT/Firefighters, Kenny applied. He figured he'd give it a shot and see what happened. He was doing the paramedic program regardless and figured he'd work somewhere eventually in that field. Lo and behold, they hired him.

August 2008, our routine changed. He begin working at the Fire Department, I couldnt have been more proud but his schedule was different and that took a lot to get used to. He works a set schedule of 24 hour shifts. At first it was challenging because I would have something planned and it would be on a day he worked and it wasnt like he was getting off at 5pm to come home and go to dinner. This was a whole new ball game. So we got married in November, I was at the Coast Guard, he was a firefighter.


We have been doing this for over a year now and I can not express how proud I am of him. He works hard and almost finished school to become a paramedic. The schedule is still hard but one of these days I may get used to it. Who knows. But I know he is only a text or phone call away. I think we communicate more than we ever have and try to keep each other up to date with what we are doing and what has happened especially since we have Ava. He has been a wonderful husband and I couldnt ask for a better daddy for Ava, she is absolutely in love with him.

I cant believe we have been in each others lives for over 5 years. We have changed so much since that fall when we began dating but we have helped each other grow into the person we have become. I am proud to be able to tell people that my husband helps others for a living. Martinsburg isnt a large city and doesnt have the most serious calls all the time but when it comes down to it there are those out there that need him to be there and to be on that call and hes there. He is happy in that position and I support him in that position even though I get aggravated sometimes because of the schedule and because of his time away from home, its just because I love spending time with him and love talking to him and watching him with Ava.

29 January 2010

She's feeling better...YAY!!

29 January

Ava is back to her old self..except for a cough..last night while Daddy was in class we played on the bed and got ready for bedtime. She had a ball rolling around and yelling at me. She is getting really good at communicating what she wants and when she wants it. Everyday I am more amazed about what she can do and how fast she is learning to do it.

She finally got dressed and kept bouncing around so much I stood her up. Shes a whole 24 1/2 inches tall. Her first cold of many more to come looks to be ending. She has shared this cold with me and Becky and Ashley but I would rather have the cold and her be well then her be sick for a longer period of time. That is what I am here for, to take the bad and give her the good.

(Looking more like her daddy everyday)

25 January 2010

My Sick Little Girl!

25 January

This past weekend was the roughest weekend I have had as a mother and I am sure it wont be my last. Friday night I barely got any sleep. My little girl decided that she was going to be up since she wasnt breathing well out of her nose enough to sleep.

Saturday she spent the morning on the bed playing and looking like she hadn't gotten any sleep at all. She kept yawning and her little eyes stayed pink. When Kenny got home from work she perked up a little bit but you could tell she just wasnt feeling good. Her nose ran a good part of the day and we were happy about that because she was draining. But try wiping the nose of a 4 month old and I will tell you it is not fun. She hates it, she knows its coming, and she fights it. She would see the tissue and cover her nose and mouth with her hands. One smart cookie! By Saturday evening she was napping off and on at Jamie and Katy's and I felt so bad she wasnt home in her own bed but she was very comfortable on my chest sleeping. The night though was a totally different story, again she slept but didnt rest because of her breathing and we put her in bed with us to monitor her breathing. Her little nose stayed clogged and the snot sucker they gave us at the hospital worked a little bit but her nose is way too small for a good suction.

Sunday morning we woke up around 6 to her having a terrible time breathing, Kenny looked at me and said 'Let's take her into the ER and get her looked at, even if its just a cold its better we know' and I totally agreed. Listening to your child not being able to breath and not want to eat because of not being able to breath while the bottle in her mouth is awful to watch. So off to the ER we went. After information was taken by the doctor, he ordered a RSV test. So they swabbed her nose and sent it to the lab. Sure enough our little girl has been diagnosed with RSV, respiratory syncytial virus, which causes infection of the lungs and breathing passages, is a major cause of respiratory illness in young children that lasts 7-10 days, the only good news I heard through the talk of this virus is that almost all kids are infected with RSV at least once by the time they're 2 years old, so it made me feel that Ava is in no danger as long as we keep an eye on her breathing and hydration. The doctor said to continue what we have been doing which is running our humidifiers, making sure she drinks fluids, and to make sure she is comfortable. He was very happy with the way she was acting, because she was pulling at him, smiling at him, trying to talk, she was standing up (with our assistance) and looking around. She wasnt acting like a sick baby, which hopefully means that within the next couple of days she will be over this and well again. Since the virus runs its course within 7-10 days as long as there are no complications which so far Ava hasnt had any it looks like we are on day 6 and by this weekend hopefully she will be back to her normal self. At least we hope.

I have to say a big thank you to my hubby though, this past week I had had Ava all to myself since Monday with his work and school schedule and was running on almost zero sleep. Saturday morning when he got home, he took over, taking care of her and playing with her while I did a few things around the house and even got out of the house for a few minutes, going to a craft party with my sister in law. Sunday he had to work a few hours and we went to my dads which was also wonderful because my sister, Jess, and my dad helped with her while I rested a little. By Sunday evening Ava was actually sleeping and resting, she looked tired while sleeping which made us both feel bad because usually she looks peaceful when sleeping. But she slept from 430p-930p which she hadnt done since the following weekend. She also ate over 5 oz of formula which since Wednesday she had only been eating 2 oz at a time, which had worried me. So I am hoping that those are little signs that she is feeling better. And again my awesome hubby was there to the rescue, since he is on his 4 day, he told me to sleep and let him get up with Ava, I had been running off of no sleep while working full time last week. So since I had to come into work today and he didnt, he took care of her last night and I actually got to sleep with no worries. He is so wonderful and great, I have no clue what I would do without him. We are a good team together.

21 January 2010

Ava's First Visit to the ER

21 January

Monday afternoon, Ava began tugging at her right ear and was really clingy but she was acting alright so we went to bed. Tuesday she went to my sisters and when we got home she had a horrible cough. It sounded so horrible and she was very congested, so when Kenny got home from class he listened to her and said that he would take her to the ER the next day if her doctor couldnt see her. Wednesday morning, she woke up around 530 am with a fever and was HOT. Kenny decided we werent going to wait to see when her doctor could see her we were gonna just get her to the ER and see what was wrong with her.

So at the ER they discovered she has an ear infection. Four months old and already her first ear infection. She looked so miserable yesterday, my sister would text me and tell me how fussy she was and that she only wanted to be held. She wouldnt be put down. So now she is taking amoxicillin 3 times a day along with tylenol to keep her fever down. I must say though she is doing better than I could have ever imagined..she is still smiling and playing and she has slept pretty good for the most part. But I feel helpless and wish I could snap my fingers and make her feel better.

And for the scrapbooker in me, I have taken a picture of her sick, kept her bracelet from the ER, and would like to get a picture of her taking her medicine. This has been a cold winter and looks like it will be colder for a bit longer, my focus is to keep her bundled up and warm.

19 January 2010

Ava's First Night Away From Home

19 January
Kenny and I have always been social. Since we began dating, we always had something planned for the weekend, going out with friends, a movie, or just hanging out. Last year when I became pregnant, we kinda slowed down. Kenny was full swing into his classes and clinicals and I was extremely tired. Once I began to grow and swell, we didn't go out nearly as much. I would settle for a night in, propping up my feet and eating ice cream. Then here came Ava, just as beautiful as ever and she has kept us busy since day one.

Recently with all the snow and cold days, cabin fever had set in a little. We didnt want to take her out in the cold and take a chance of her getting sick and we havent taken her out to the store or anything. This past weekend, the weather was nice, it was actually a little warm and we had errands that needed to be ran. I had asked my mom if she would mind watching Ava over night for us and she was thrilled to have the opportunity. We dropped her off late afternoon and went to Sam's Club to catch up on items we needed in bulk then met my sister and brother in law (Erika and Kelly) for dinner. It was really weird not having her there. I kept thinking of her and mom would text me and let me know how she was doing. It was really nice having a little grown up time and some quality time with Kenny. We got home late and was able to sleep in until past 9am. I can't even remember when the last time I slept in that late. But as soon as I was awake and ate some breakfast, I was getting ready to go get my baby! We got to my moms a little til 11am and she was taking her morning nap, so we hung around until she was awake and could eat a little bit before heading back home.

She was so excited to see us. She was smiling at her daddy and talking to him. Almost like she was telling us what her and Nanny did while we were gone. And I must mention the little booger butt slept wonderfully for mom, waking up at 4am for her bottle then back down until 8am. She slept longer and better for her than she has us in weeks. I must say I was a little jealous, mom chalks it up to experience and not loosing her 'touch'. My mom loved it and we agreed that we will do this every couple months or so to allow her to get used to staying away from us and able to stay with someone else. This will also allow Kenny and I a date night every once in a while which is always nice. It won't be long before she is begging to stay with one of her cousins on the weekends and I don't see her at all. At least that is how we were when we were little.

It was a good experience and I am glad we started it early before I get to clingy with her or she is too clingy with me. I want her to be independent but dependent. I know she will need me for years to come but I want her to be comfortable to spend a few hours or the night with one of her grandparents or aunts as she gets older.

12 January 2010

04 January 2010

A New Year A New Way

04 January
2010 is here! I must say that 2008 and 2009 were pretty impressive years. Kenny and I got married and then we welcomed the joy of our lives, Ava into the world. I am not one for resolutions, I can never stick to what I say I will do, but this year I thought instead of a resolution maybe just a few things to keep in mind to keep me sane with our busy lifestyle.

Kenny will be returning to school in a matter of weeks, which means Ava and I will be home a lot by ourselves again so I'd like to keep in mind that it's okay to ask for help. I am not one to ask for it. During my maternity leave, I did take a little help but was stubborn as usual and did as much by myself as I can. As she is growing this year, I hope to ask for help more when time is a concern and for her well-being. I want to make sure that she is taken care of the best that we can and I am surrounded by family who love her and are willing to help as much as they can.

Scrapbooking-its my love! I was given a scrapbooking kit and album for a gift after graduating high school and have been addicted ever since. I hope to make some time to get caught up on my albums. I hope to keep in mind that every moment is precious and to try to capture as much with pictures as I can. I want Ava to have as many memories as possible and if I can put them in a scrapbook for her to keep when she gets older then that will help her know how much she is loved.

Remodeling-we have slowly been remodeling the home we bought in 2009. I hope this year to continue improving on its look and to incorporate a little of us into each room. There is so much I would like to do but need to allow for the time to complete the projects. I would like to keep in mind that measuring twice and cutting once has been the carpenter's motto for a long time and I will have to be patient with our projects to insure that they are done correctly the first time.

Taking care of my Family-Kenny and Ava are my world and I want to make sure that they are happy and healthy and taken care of. They are the reason I get up every morning and continue doing everything that I do. Life without them would not make sense. I want to keep in mind that I now have 2 sets of family to take care and to have them take care of us. My in-laws are great, they have opened their hearts to me and make me feel like I have been in the family forever and not just a few years. My family has been great, supporting decisions and welcoming Kenny into the family.

Taking care of the wonderful people that take care of Ava-Becky and Ashley have been a life saver. They take care of Ava, love her like their own, and help me and Kenny so much. I couldn't ask for better help raising her. I am so blessed to have them take care of her while we are working and knowing she is save and happy. I hope that in 2010 to help them as much as possible whenever I can as they have done for me up until now. Words will never be able to express how much it is appreciated that she is in private care instead of daycare. I only worry that she is not fussy or cracky. I do not have to worry that she is stuck in a wet diaper for hours or that she has been crying with no comfort or that she is waiting to be fed. I work all day thinking of her and counting down to see her but not worrying and that means so much. I will keep in mind that they do not have to do this but they choose to do this. They love my daughter and take care of her as I would.

This past year has been wonderful, experiencing pregnancy and labor and motherhood. It has all been exciting. I know that this upcoming year will be just as special.

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