Thursday, January 11, 2018

Our Christmas Holiday 2017

oops it's already the 2nd week of January and I'm just now recapping our my defense we had to postpone one of our Christmas celebrations to January 1st due to SNOW!!

We hosted Christmas Eve at our house with Thomas family (per usual) and we went Parsons traditional in the food dept. they grew up with Prime Rib, potatoes, a veg and bread.  This year due to my pregnant condition we had to cook the Prime Rib past its prime (which was appreciated by the kiddos and a handful of adults...) but with enough horseradish it tasted fine 😉.  We also made mashed potatoes (of the red variety) and boiled carrots with butter.  Thomas brother brought two loaves of his homemade sourdough bread that was the perfect accompaniment to the meal.  Additionally Thomas mom brought all the treats: linzer cookies, rice crispy treats, buckeyes, sugar cookies, peanut butter blossoms, and layer cookie bars.

Unfortunately not all of the family was able to make it due to sickness (the dreaded HFMD) but we made due with them via dinner and presents via FaceTime...what would we do without technology these days??  We had a great time eating, visiting and then opening the obscene amount of presents.  The kiddos all had a great time but my favorite part was after Ellie opened her first present she was so confused why I told her to open another, she exclaimed "but I already opened my present!" after some coaxing and explaining she realized that there was more than one present for her.  It was so incredibly precious and she loved every single present she opened.  She was so excited for each one and told the giver that it was what she had always hoped and wished for! I wish I could be that gracious of a receiver!!

One of the most exciting things that happened on Christmas Eve was that it started Snowing...and if you know the PNW it's very rare for us to get a white Christmas, let alone an actual one where the snow falls on Christmas Eve!! It was a happy surprise and the kids absolutely enjoyed it...thank goodness for Papa who was willing to brave the snow with all the kids!

Once everyone left we set out Milk and Cookies for Santa...and Finnley had to make sure that the treats tasted A-Okay for Santa, Ellie was a bit upset 😂.

Christmas morning was slow and the girls slept in til nearly 7am! Unheard of from our early 5am risers.  We opened our stockings and presents and then I finished up cinnamon rolls, (I had made the dough the day before) and when they came out of the oven they were simply heaven.  I'm still dreaming of them and can't wait to make them again.  We went on a walk around our neighborhood in the snow, followed the footprints of our neighborhood coyote, and built a snowman which Ellie immediately knocked down.

Originally my family was supposed to join us for Christmas Day festivities but with the snow and another sick household, we decided to postpone it for the following week.  So our little family of Four got to spend the whole day together at home with no plans.  We did go out to Starbucks and a drive around town to see if anything was open (mainly a Chinese/Asian restaurant) and when we saw black storefront after black restaurant we made our way back home to enjoy all that we have.

Finally January 1st came along and we hosted Christmas with my family.  We had Ham (which everyone was surprised - since I have proclaimed my disdain for ham since forever) cheesey cornflake pototoes, a salad and biscuits.  The food was great, Ellie and the rest ate copious amounts of ham, while I ate my dutiful single bite 😉 (have no fear I filled up on appetizers and practically all the potatoes) the cousins all loved hanging out with each other.  Ellie and the second oldest cousin spent most of the gathering watching her kindle in her bed - so freaking cute.  Opening presents was a bit of a mayhem but it was so fun to see the excitement of the kiddos.  This time however, Ellie kept asking where her next present was...oh well.

It was such a fun Holiday Celebration and I can't believe it was the last one we will celebrate as a family of Four!!

Happy New Year y'all.

♥ Ashley

Monday, January 8, 2018

The Monthly Bumpdate - weeks 9-12

Y'all I can't even express how awesome it is that I get to post yet again about my pregnancy!! It's an infertility fighters dream I tell ya!!

We are basically out of the First Trimester and have less than 27 weeks to go!  Thankfully I haven't had nausea that bad...I attribute that to my lack of sense of smell 😉 I guess that finally came in handy for something.  I'm rocking some seriously ridiculous grandma hair with mass amounts of grey growout and I'm dreaming of going back to my monthly massages because I've got a knot the size of Texas in my shoulder.  I finally graduated from my RE's office and am seeing a Midwife!  I looked into Centering Pregnancy and was highly considering it until I learned that my Midwife wouldn't be leading my I'll just stick to individual appointments with her.  I also finished up my Progesterone and it's been so nice eliminating 2 of my daily alarms (7:30a/7:30p) and just having to take my thyroid meds daily at 5:00am 😳.

Ellie is constantly asking me to "see the baby" and by that she means to look at my belly.  When she gives it kisses, Finnley has to make sure she gets in on it too...though I'm pretty sure she is clueless as to whats going on there.  Regardless we are all just in disbelief that this is actually happening and incredibly happy and thankful that it is!

Size: a lime or prune
Gender: who knows but this week I'm thinking boy
Symptoms: crazy tired and a lingering headache since December 29th (its been off and on...mostly off the past few days)
Cravings: give me all the pasta!! Spaghetti especially but I won't say no to cheese tortellini...and meat!!
Mood: I'd say I'm pretty moody and can lose my cool rather quickly but then I am also pretty emotional and can cry at just about anything.
Sleep: horrible, I can't seem to get comfortable and keep waking up with knots in my neck and shoulders...also I have to pee at least once a night.
Rings: on and just as loose as usual
Belly: I know that it's going to get way bigger but there is definitely something there and I couldn't love it more.  I've gained at least 8 lbs so far (thanks to all the pasta 😉)  and while I have no problem with my pants getting tighter (h e l l o leggings!!) seeing that number go back up on the scale after working for 18 months to get it down is kind of hard to swallow - but I'll get over that too!
Next Appointment: Jan 31, and I can't wait to hear the heartbeat again!! I met with my Midwife a couple days after Christmas and we weren't able to locate the heartbeat but I know for sure we will at the next appointment.

Until next Month!!

♥ Ashley

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas 2017

Merry Christmas!

Last year I mentioned that we weren’t sure how we were going to top 2016…well we figured out a way!! Our biggest news of the year was having a go at IVF, which thankfully was successful!  We are expecting our first biological babe in July 2018, our hearts are bursting with excitement and our nerves are hopeful this babe sticks around for the long haul!

We’ve kept ourselves busy yet again this year with a bit of travel: Disneyland twice (May and September) and decided to become Disneyland Passholders since we love it there so much, many trips to Selah to visit Thomas parents in their new home, a road trip to Montana, countless day trips to Vashon Island, and an 11 day cruise in the Baltic (Denmark, Norway, Germany, Estonia, Russia, Finland, and Sweden) with the girls and Ashley’s dad.   The girls are practically expert travelers at this point and have enjoyed every trip so far, Ellie keeps asking when we’re going back on our White Cruise Boat and Finnley is reminded of the cruise with every bite of cream cheese she has.  We are over the moon with making these memories with the girls and cannot wait to add another babe to our family – though life will definitely get a bit more tricky, we’re sure we can handle it and if not you can just find us all hiding out in Disneyland just trying to survive ;)

Thomas: is still teaching and has taken on a new subject, Psychology, which is keeping him busy.  Cycling and Fly Fishing are still his favorite hobbies and spending time playing with the girls is always at the top of his list.

Ashley: is doing well in the early stages of pregnancy, thankfully the nausea hasn’t been too bad although she does get exhausted half way through the day.  She is still nannying twice a week and enjoys keeping things real with her blog “Life with Kids”.

Ellie: started Pre-K this year and is excelling at her learning.  She can spell/write her name, identify most of the letters and can count to 40.  She started ballet this year and had her first recital in May, she loved it so much we signed her up again.  She loves to sing and dance and laughing is seriously her favorite thing to do.  Ellie is still as obsessed with Finnley as ever, and now is very excited about having another sibling to boss around and love on.

Finnley: is growing like a weed, she is only about 4 inches shorter than Ellie and she is running around causing trouble.  Her favorite things to eat come out of pouches (thank goodness for their creation) and Mac’n’Cheese.  Her vocabulary is growing by the day, though most of her words are hard to decipher.  Her love of Mickey Mouse runs deeper than any of us and while her facial expression is usually a stone cold stare…when she’s silly her faces are just the best.  Finnley is still enamored with her sister and is most comfortable with her around, though she has recently discovered the dogs…which they don’t seem to be too pleased about ;)

With Love,
Thomas, Ashley, Ellie and Finnley
The Farm Animals: Paladin, Ragtime, Cooper, Sakari, Annabelle, Penelope, Delilah, Stella, Ma and Solo

Saturday, December 23, 2017

A Christmas Home Tour 2017

Nothing like waiting until the last minute to share our Christmas Home with y'all...but I guess that's life with two kiddos and a pregnancy.  SO here we go!!

We really tried to simplify our decor this year and honestly....I love it.  Just some light touches here and there, though I do dream of having some live pine/fir garland in our house but when you have a dog that's allergic you have to make sacrifices.

In our Living Room we put our tree in the corner again this year and I love how it completes the room. We actually got a new tree this year from Target, since our original one finally bit the dust last year.  It searched and searched for small airy artificial tree and I love it just as much as I thought I would.  We also went with colored lights, it took 4 strands to cover this little tree but it was well worth it.  I stopped in at Ikea to pick up some more of their boxwood wreaths because I love them so.

Last year my dad gave Ellie the Polar Express Train and it was perfect to go around our tree this year.  It's been quite the hit with all the kiddos.

just a sampling of the presents we had for Christmas Eve.

And then some touches in the bedrooms.

I have been on the lookout for an affordable Christmas pillow for our bed all season long that had more green than red and I finally found it in the Dollar Spot at Target and it's been the best addition to our room.

The girls rooms are pretty simple this year with some holiday sheets and their personal trees.

And that finishes up our simple Christmas Home Tour this year!  Thanks for stopping by.

♥ Ashley

Friday, December 22, 2017

Twas the Friday before Christmas...

and all through the house we were ready, or almost at least!!  I seriously cannot get over how quickly this season is flying by.  We officially entered the winter season yesterday and I am just so excited to experience Christmas with the girls again this year!  Last year was pretty magical when we got to celebrate with our two little munchkins and now its going to be even more special as we have another babe on the way!  This pregnancy thing is all pretty crazy, I had another appointment (first with my new clinic since I "graduated" from the RE) and they already scheduled me for my very first midwife appointment for next week!! It's just going by so quickly.

We've been pretty busy lately so let's give a little catchup on what's been going down here on the farm.

First things first, I've been debating over and over about trimming Ellie's hair.  I love her long hair and it has grown past the waist of her pants and since it's never been cut the ends are 4.5 years old and a bit scraggly.  So I was finally able to convince myself and my girl that we should just go ahead and get it over with.  It's been a really hard decision because I've been saying for years that she isn't allowed to cut her hair until she is 18 like Rapunzel, but I just couldn't handle it anymore...and she's been great going along with that idea too.  So after much debate we went for it.  I only took off about 3/4 of an inch and it made a world of difference.  Her hair is still super long and aside from it looking cleaner you can't really even tell that I cut anything off.

Another fun activity that Ellie and I did together was go to Belle's Christmas Party at this cute little party place downtown.  They whole place was decorated for Christmas with twinkling lights, decorated trees, garlands and wreaths galore.  They had activity stations set up for Cookie Decorting, Fairy Wings, Snow Globes, and Picture Frames as well as a station to sit and have a tea party with Belle herself! Once all of the kiddos made it to each station they then all got together for Belle to read them a story and sing a few Christmas Carols.  I was a bit skeptical of Belle's singing ability but she seriously knocked it out of the park and Ellie has the best time ever!

The girls and I also threw our annual Ladies Christmas Party a couple weekends ago and it was a total hit!! We got the house all decorated (more detailed post to come) and lots of friends in attendance!!  I totally went the easy route this year when it came to food, since I've been so exhausted lately and it all turned out smashingly!  I served some red wine, a couple different types of tea, and then all the foods: Irish Soda Bread, Pirates Booty, Hummus platter with veggies and pretzels, butterhorns with assorted jams, cheese plate with salami chips, rice crispy treats, assorted packaged cookies and a chocolate cake from Trader Joes.  Each guest got to take home a goody bag filled with candy canes, caramels, and a holiday tea bag.  The girls had a blast playing with their friends and I loved just hanging out with a bunch of ladies and fellowshipping with them.  My best friends made it and we all cracked up at how they are both practically a foot taller than me.

I've totally embraced being short and I love that my BFFs compliment that.

from Bump Buddies to Mom Buddies.  I wouldn't trade this 33 year old friendship for anything! (our moms were pregnant together and then we had our girls a month apart!!)

We seriously had the best time and I cannot wait until next year!

We have plans to visit Santa this afternoon and then Ellie and I are off with my MIL to watch the Nutcracker tomorrow!!  Happy Friday everyone and a Merry Christmas!!

♥ Ashley