My First Year as a Mom: a letter to Avery

Dear Avery, my little love,

I can’t believe it’s been a year already. Everyone says how quickly the first year flies by and, boy, are they right. And, Avery, I think we made it through with flying colors.

When you came into this world at 5:43 PM on Saturday, April 1st 2017, I was so excited to meet you. Nine months is a long time, so when I went in for my weekly OB appointment at 38 weeks on Friday morning, they told me that I had really high blood pressure and that it was time! Eeek! To be honest, I was terrified! I felt unprepared and was definitely not looking forward to the pain that labor and deliver brings, but I was finally going to meet you!

Meeting you for the first time was incredible. I loved you immediately. And the love was so much stronger than I ever expected it to be. Truthfully, I never thought I could love someone as much as I love your Dad, but the love I felt for you blew that out of the water. It was so intense at times, it felt like my heart was going to explode. It was the deepest, most powerful love I have ever felt, and it only gets stronger and stronger everyday.

But, I won’t lie. The first three months were so challenging at times. The days were long, exhausting, overwhelming, and sometimes I didn’t think I could make it another day. Thank goodness Nana was around (who loves to call you ‘Baby Duck-Duck’) and Dad was home for the summer to help us through those first few months. Even though neither of us knew what we were doing, we did the best we could and made it through those crazy first months in one piece. We even managed to go on a camping trip – even if it was just for one night! No, I don’t think that was the craziest thing we did during those first few month – we planted a travel bug in you early on and took you on your first airplane trip to Boston! Dad had some work to do and since I was still on maternity leave, I figure why not! You were so well-behaved on the plane – you didn’t make a peep! I hope you are always well-behaved on future airplane adventures!

Breastfeeding started out rocky, you were always hungry and I always felt like I wasn’t feeding you enough. Watching you while you breastfeed was beautiful, but the pain I felt afterwards was excruciating. There were times I would disrupt you’re feedings cause I was in so much pain and you’d cry cause you were still hungry and I would cringe when it came time for the next feed. Eventually we figure out a system that worked for the both of us which involve a lot of pumping and midnight nursing that I’m PROUD to say that you had mama’s milk for a WHOLE YEAR! Woohoo!

When you turned 6 months old, everything changed for the better. You were a little older and your Dad and I were a little wiser, so our days together started to become a wonderful adventure. You were baptized, you started sitting up all by yourself, you started to eat solids and loved it and you laughed a whole lot. (Oh, how I love your laugh. It is music to my ears.) Things started to get much easier and our family really started to get into a groove. The best part of all is that Grammy stayed with us to help care for you while I went back to work! I don’t know how we could have done it without the help of Grammy – she made our life so much more manageable! The bond you guys have is just the cutest thing – you both enjoy watching Wheel of Fortune together, the mini arguments you guys have over the missing remote control, how you always stay so still when it comes time for Grammy to cut your nails! Oh, and let’s not forget about you’re biggest adventure and that was taking you’re first international trip to London & Paris! Again, you were so well behaved on the plane and you enjoyed all the different types of baby foods you were eating!

At 10 months, I wanted to freeze time. What a fun age! Even though, I say this at every stage of your life now, 10 months was another turning point for me. We really started to see your personality develop. You were (and still are) Mr. Serious when you meet new people or experience new places, but as soon as you’re comfortable, you turn into your silly, smart, and inquisitive self. At 10 months, you were also crawling like a maniac, pulling yourself up on everything, and “talking” & “screaming” our ears off. (I think you’re a lot like me in this way since I get excited when I talk) What’s even more impressive is that you managed to master the ‘WALK’ at 11 months! You’re going to walk like a boss to your first birthday party this weekend! You’re growing up so fast, and it’s such an exciting time for all of us and a bit sad for me!

And just one more thing to tell you, even though it will probably sound a little cheesy: Sometimes when I’m rocking you or watching you sleep, I feel the urge to cry because you mean so much to me. You have brought so much happiness and love into our lives this past year, and there isn’t a single day that I haven’t appreciated how lucky we are to have you as our son.

Happy 1st birthday, Avery. You’re the love of my life, and I’m so proud to be your mom. Dad and I love you so much.



Well…more like just famous in a hotel in Amsterdam!

Here’s the scoop:
During the summer, this lady emailed me about using my Amsterdam photos that she found on my blog here to display outside the elevators of the Courtyard Marriott floors. At first, I was a bit skeptical wondering if this was ‘for real’ but I said SURE! Months go by and I completely forget about it, until she recently emailed me the final products.

OH MY GOSH! I was so shock to see how BIG the display was! I was like NO WAY! This is soooo COOL!! I’m FAMOUS!!!

They used 3 of my photos and the number in front means what floor the photos are on! I don’t know how long these will be up for, but if anyone plans on visiting Amsterdam soon…can you pleeeease make a pit stop at The Courtyard Marriott and take tons of pictures for me!!!


Today was a GOOD day!!!

Well, as good as it can be. The CT and MRI scans was overall good; the only drawback was that they found more nodules on the right side of my stomach. But according to Dr. Pillarisetty there is nothing to worry about but just in case I have to do a follow-up MRI in three months to be on the safe side.

Thank you to everyone for your endless support, love, and prayers.



This year’s family theme costume is underwater!

I wanted to create Avery’s costume using the Ergobaby carrier because it would be a lot easier holding him that way. He’s six months – barely crawls, can’t stand, and rolls like a bowling ball so I needed him to be secure and comfortable. I did some research and came across a diver and starfish costume that seemed pretty easy to re-create since I knew I wouldn’t have much time to work on it. I figured I would just be a mermaid – but originally I wanted to be a squid!

I only had 3 days to work on the starfish and mermaid costume. I started with the starfish thinking it would just take me a day, but it took me 3. There were some hiccups but thankfully my mom was here to help sew it together! For my mermaid costume, I really wanted a beautifully shelled top that I figure would be easy to do. Nope!!! Shells can get heavy and it just didn’t make sense when I have to carry Avery. So I opted out of the shell top and just went with a crochet looking halter and bought a mermaid skirt on Amazon! Not too thrilled about my outfit but still happy that Avery and Daddy’s costume was a hit!!!

Happy Birthday Grammy



Paris is a city of a million stories, told through its people, its monuments, its art and its abundant heritage. In the midst of this dreamy city stands the epitome of history, culture and art, the Musée du Louvre, or the Museum of Louvre as it’s globally known.  On the banks of the Seine, straight down from the Champs-Élysées, lies the grand structure of The Louvre, home to centuries worth of historical artifacts, paintings, sculptures, antiques and a massive collection of archives.

You can’t go to the Louvre and not see Leonardo DaVinci’s most famous work of art, the Mona Lisa. Her shy smile and guarded identity make her elusive and sought out by many and is perhaps the most popular painting in the world.

Louvre Pyramid

The Louvre’s glass pyramid was built in 1989 and is 71 feet high. It is made solely of glass and metal and is now one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks. You can remember this place from the book and the movie Da Vinci’s Code.


If you know me you’ve probably heard me say the words “Love” and “London” in the same sentence at some point in time. I’ve always loved London and though I’ve only been to the city once, it’s a place that’s almost always on my mind.

But even though it’s only been since last year since I’ve last visited London – I had to come back! This time bringing along Avery and my mom! Oh what fun!

After checking into our hotel – we were pump to start our day. We basically just walked around and explored the neighborhood which included The London Eye, Big Ben, a well-dressed guard & the famous red telephone booth!

Avery turned 28 weeks and regardless of where we are I have to take his weekly photo with the light up box.

On our first full day in London, we started off having brunch over at the vibrant Covent Garden in London’s West End. It’s a must-see destination for anyone who enjoys shopping, theatre, restaurants, bars, history and culture.

We made a quick stop at my favorite life-size bronze statue – The Ballerina. She sits in Broad court, opposite the Opera House.

We then took the tube to The Tower Bridge where we got to go on top and explore! More photos here.
Day 2:

We woke up early to take King Avery to see his future home – The Buckingham Palace and to experience The Changing of the Guard where I did a separate post here.

My moms name is Victoria – hence her excitement when a station is named after her!

Afterwards we walked to Westminster Abby and did a tour (photos where not allowed indoors) but just look at how gorgeous the outside is. Can you imagine how beautiful it is on the inside?!? I can 🙂

Walking back to our hotel and I couldn’t resist ‘horsing around’.
Day 3:

During our last day we ventured into Trafalgar Square and into The National Gallery which is a free art gallery.

Then went back into the tube and headed to Notting Hill to have a delicious Thai lunch and a nice cold beer at the famous Churchill Arms! Not only is the outside decorated but the inside is filled with London/Churchill-centric memorabilia and you guessed it…more flowers! This has got to be the prettiest pub in all of London!

We top the evening off by watching The Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty’s Theatre. The theatre is gorgeous and the set was charming and elaborate. Not too mention the performance and the orchestra was outstanding.