Monday, July 10, 2017

Oh Monday Monday

We had a bit of a crazy weekend if I'm being honest.  

Friday was Cooper's birthday (he turned 10) and he and Sakari started fighting which ended up with Cooper getting bitten in the mouth.  He was pretty swollen for a couple of days but it's gone way down and he doesn't seem to be too bothered by it.  I officially joined the Mom Club when I arrived at Target and realized that I had on two different shoes...I always wondered how that happened and now I understand.  We went over to Thomas' brother's house for dinner.  Ellie had a complete blast playing with her cousins, jumping on the trampoline and putting on a show, while Finnley watched longingly just waiting to be old enough to jump too.  When we got back home my new charging cord had arrived (similar) and let me tell you how much I love having a longer cord, this should be the standard length.  Now I can look at my phone in bed while it's plugged in and I just have to say it is wonderful.

Saturday we spent the day on our favorite island.  We were recently asked what draws us to the island.  The ferry boat ride is a huge pull, it takes us about 30 minutes to arrive at the dock, there is rarely a huge line up to get on and the whole ride is around 15 minutes long.  We love to explore the beaches, parks, and have never had a bad thing to eat.  Also, it's extremely rural - there are no traffic lights, just two blinking red lights at 4 way stops.  Life is much slower on the island and seriously that is just what we need sometimes.  On this recent trip we hit up their Farmer's Market, tried out a new coffee shop (that has earlier hours) and I got my latte with housemade organic caramel and hemp milk...I've been converted! We found a new beach that is basically perfection.  There are tide pools, a sand volleyball court, grass, and the sandy beach...not to mention the view is spectacular!  The girls adored being out on the beach.  Playing in the sand, throwing rocks into the ocean, and searching for seashells were their favorite things while I was obsessed with the tide pools and all the tiny little crabs! Finnley had so much fun that she fell asleep on the way to lunch and spent most of the time in the restaurant sleeping on the booth at one of the Mexican Restaurants, with the chips they brought out hot salsa, spicy coleslaw, and refried beans, our meal was delish and we will for sure be returning again.  We got back home in the mid afternoon, played in the backyard, did some garden clean up, made dinner and just enjoyed the beautiful weather we are experiencing here in the PNW.

On Sunday, Thomas made a run to the store to get some essentials (eggs) and they we stayed home all morning.  I made French Toast with some amazing bread we got from the island and I am not sure there is any other way to have it from here on out ;)  The girls played and Finnley walked laps around our house, I'm pretty sure she clocks in at least 20,000 steps a day, and then she went down for an early long nap.  While Finnley napped we did some more yard work, I pruned some trees, weeded the vegetable garden, did some watering and cleaned up Ragtime's paddock, Thomas moved all the downed limbs out to the pasture for the goats, mulched around our blueberries, went on a bike ride with Ellie, and they washed his car.  We had a quick lunch and then got ready to head up North to my Grandparents for a swim in their pool and some dinner.  I had set up with my siblings for us all to have a visit together (unfortunately one of the cousins was sick and had to stay home) and then we were surprised when one of our cousins showed up with her kids too!  I am sure that our Grandparents were just in heaven having all (minus one) of their great grandchildren over at the same time.  There are 9 great grandchildren in total, 2 sets of boy twins, and all of them under 5 years old!!

how was your weekend?

♥ Ashley

Friday, July 7, 2017

Hello Friday - the first of July

I can't believe that we are already a full week into July!  We've been living up our Summer to it's fullest already checking things off our summer bucket list and it feels good.  We were actually out of town last week on a road trip through Idaho and Montana, we planned our trip to break up the 8.5 hour drive into more manageable 3 and 4 hour stints and thankfully the girls did pretty well on the whole trip.  It has been confirmed that Finnley doesn't do too well going over mountain passes but other than that we had a great time.

Today is Cooper's 10th Birthday.  He is our sweet little snuggle bug, The Coop Boy or Bugga Boo as I like to call him. I can't believe that he is already 10 and he really was such a great comforter during our years of struggling with infertility (we're still infertile fyi) and has been so great with both of the girls.  I will be the first to admit that I don't give him the love and attention he deserves and once had and I really want to change that because soon enough he's going to be super old and no longer. I was confirmed last night of how great he is because Ellie was having a rough time going to bed and he came in to help comfort her!! What a dog!

I have found that all of us are pretty into all of our technology and I wanted to take a step to remedy that.  I decided back in the middle of May that I was going to implement "No Tech Tuesdays" starting in June.  I have LOVED it!! y'all.  From the time the girls get up in the morning to the time they are in bed we are tech free, sans music and google maps...and occasionally Thomas and I will cheat during the girls naps.  But seriously it is so awesome.  We are so much more present with our girls and each other and we are able to really pack our Tuesday's full of so much fun.  We are also able to get quite a bit accomplished around the house too since we aren't vegging out in front of the TV during the day.  The girls are doing super good with it too, they are finding ways to entertain themselves, play with each other and it is encouraging their (Ellie's) creative sides.  I really cannot say enough good and fun things about it, I almost want to institute a second official tech free day of the week!

I signed Finnley up for swimming lessons (parent/child class) she had her first class on Wednesday and I was able to convince Thomas to take her since I had just washed my hair the day before ;) and she hated it.  She cried the whole time and was just a miserable mess.  Thomas could only subject her to the torture for so long before he decided to call it quits...she barely made it 13 minutes (the class is only 25).  Unfortunately I didn't get any pictures so I have no evidence.  We're not giving up on her though, her class is twice a week and we fully plan on taking her back.  Swimming is such a valuable life skill that we think it is so important for our girls to learn.

Speaking of crying about swimming...Ellie isn't much better when it comes to the pool.  I am convinced it all depends on the instructor.  Sadly I wasn't able to get Ellie signed up for swimming this summer though she is on the wait list.  But last session Ellie was resistant practically the whole time, held on to her teacher for dear life, and then said that "swimming is so fun!" after every lesson - insert eyeroll emoji.  I am really hoping that we are able to get her in this summer. I am actually having her go back to the previous level to see if being in the kiddie pool will boost her confidence a bit more.  While we were on our road trip, Ellie kept begging to go to the pool at the hotels.  Finally at our last hotel we had time to appease her.  She was so excited to get down to the pool with her swimsuit and puddle jumper.  Then the water was pretty cold and she bawled her eyes out the entire time we were there - a good 15+ minutes.  We went back up to the room and took a bath to clean off, when she told me she liked the pool and wanted to go back.  Again in the morning she asked if she could go to the pool before we checked out...what are we going to do with her?  I am pretty sure the only thing we can do to help her get over her apparent "fear" of the water is to continue to take her to I guess that we should plan to take her to all the open swims if I can't get her in a class.

Ellie is signed up for Ballet and Gymnastics this summer and is super excited about both of them.  Several of the girls that were in her Ballet class this year decided to take a break from it for the summer but us mom's couldn't handle missing out on our weekly meetups so we signed our girls up to all take gymnastics together just so we could sit and talk to adults once a week ;)  Actually all the girls really love gymnastics so it's a win-win.  Even though we all signed up within a minute of each other our girls didn't get put in the same group together and somehow Ellie got matched up with a brand new teenage teacher with a group full of Ellie needs lots of redirection and has been goofing off a lot with said boys.  Regardless the moms are all having a great time because we all get to sit together.  Ellie loved Ballet so much that I had to sign her up again, thankfully she has her same teacher and it's a class of all girls so she is behaving a bit better and she is making huge strides in her ballet abilities ;)

It's officially the time of year where we utilize our fire pit.  Ellie loves fires and now Finnley does too.  Last year we tried to have a weekly fire and we'll try for that again this year too.  On Wednesday we made our first fire of the Summer and since the weather has been so hot lately our wood was extra dry which helped it catch fire so much easier than the last couple of fires we built at the end of the season last year.  Not only did we have a fire but we also made s'mores.  It was over 80 outside and our chocolate got so soft, there was no need for the nutella I threw out the day before, usually our chocolate is rock hard (because PNW).  They were extra delicious and while Ellie isn't a fan of the s'more (because chocolate) she quickly got over us putting her marshmallows into the fire when she tasted their toasty goodness and was begging for more!  Finnley, though is a fan of chocolate and appreciated all of the parts of a s'more...oh to be the second child and get to do all these fun things at a much younger age!

Our July is already one week's our least busy month of the summer but we're figuring out ways to keep it filled up.  I just hope we've scheduled enough "home time" so that we'll be able to get some projects done - mainly the playhouse which hasn't seen much change in the past few weeks.  I also have to finish painting our bedroom, it's just around the window and shouldn't take more than 10 minutes but I keep putting it off.  Additionally I think we're going to finally replace the flooring in our Master Bathroom and get rid of the nasty 1989 linoleum in there.  I'm thinking of a classic tile, probably white with a darker grey grout just not sure if I want square, rectangle, or hex tile...what would you do?

♥ Ashley

recently on the blog:
Our 4th of July
How I lost 14 pounds by writing down what I ate
What to do in Victoria, BC with Kids

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Our 4th of July 2017

I'm not big on fireworks but that doesn't mean that I should deny my girls the joy of the show!!  We had a wonderful day celebrating our nations birthday and freedom!  Thank you to all who have given their lives and devoted their time to making this country we live in so great.

We seriously had a fantastic 4th!  Finnley was up and walking around this year (compared to last year where she was just a baby blob).

Our morning started out with a bike ride for Thomas and some sister time in Finnley's crib.  We then made our way to Starbucks for coffee and a treat, then to our destination of the Zoo!!

(the best family picture we got from the entire day)

When we were driving into the zoo there were two deer wandering around and then as we were walking up to the entrance they were along the pathway.  Ellie was enchanted with them and so was I.

Finnley got a little restless as we were waiting in line and Ellie did what she loves to do to her sister, gives kisses on her head.  PS. I am loving this new double stroller a friend gifted us, it's a sit'n'stand stroller and it is perfect for Ellie - who is constantly wanting to get a ride and then walk at the same time ;)

beautiful Mt. Rainier in the distance

On our visit to the Zoo we saw the Red Wolves and the Polar Bear who was napping when we arrived but promptly got up and went for a swim!

The Rocky Shores exhibit was finally open after months of restoration and the girls had a blast checking out some of my very favorite animals: Harbor Seals, Walruses, Tufted Puffins, and Sea Otters.  This area was perfect for Finnley to walk and wander around and she had a total blast.

After checking out all the animals from above we went down to the underwater viewing and we made fast friends with one of the Puffins.  Ellie insisted it was a "she" and we named her Pretzel.  Pretzel was obsessed with Ellie's dress and kept trying to get Finnley's finger through the glass.  Both girls were completely enamored and didn't want to leave Pretzel - they both started crying when it was time for us to move on.

Over to the Budgie area where we bought a seed stick and the girls were in heaven with the birds flying all around.  Ellie was all about holding the stick and getting a bird on it and all Finnley wanted to do was grab the birds (and maybe eat them, the jury is still out on that).

We also visited the aquarium as Ellie wanted to go to all the touch tanks.  She loved it and Finnley cried all about it.

On the way out, Ellie just had to take a picture with the Gorilla, especially the flower in his hand.

We stopped at our favorite grocery store for lunch and some last minute dinner items and then headed home for a photo shoot in front of our festive chalkboard.  Ellie loved the flag prop and once Finnley figured out what we were doing she wouldn't leave the chalkboard for another 5 minutes once our shoot was done! 

Then it was time for the girls naps and we took advantage of our 3 hours to get the house prepped, garden work, and yard work done before my best friend and her husband arrived for our neighbors spectacular fireworks show.  My friend made these delicious drinks, we had a cheese plate, chips and salsa and guacamole for our apps.  Then for dinner we had fajitas and dessert was Red White and Blue Shortcake with homemade shortcake and hand whipped cream by yours truly.

The fireworks show was awesome, Finnley slept through the whole thing, the dogs hid in the closet  and we only got bit by about 15 mosquitos! It was a great day and I loved spending it with my favorite people.

♥ Ashley 

Past 4th's