Tuesday, January 17, 2017

[Travel Diaries] Disneyland Winter 2016 - Day 2

Our second day in Disneyland started early and was packed with fun, even though it was a full day of Disney it didn't seem quite as exhausting as Day 1 since we didn't have to travel on an airplane.

Our day started in Disney California Adventure and now that we have our sweet little Finnley we have to utilize the rider swap on rides that Finnley isn't big enough for.  Our first stop was to Cars Land so that Ellie could ride on Mater's Junkyard Jamboree.  While Thomas and Ellie waited in line Finnley and I had a bottle and then made our way to the Baby Care Station for a diaper change and bottle cleaning.  Finnley babe was so cute just hanging out in the high chair while I cleaned out her bottle I had to snap a picture.  Thomas and Ellie had a great time on the ride and I think that Ellie is a fan of the rider swap because she gets to go on double the rides with half the wait! Seems like a pretty slammin' deal to me.

After Ellie's double ride on Mater we walked around Cars Land and got to see Mater dressed up for Christmas - let me tell you how magical Disneyland is during the Christmas Season, I loved all the decor!

We got in line for Lightening McQueen and I just love our family of four!! Finnley is the best addition!

her hair cracks me up!

Our next stop was to the Pier to see Minnie Mouse and Elena of Avalor.  I loved how Minnie Mouse was dressed up in her Fiesta wear, so CUTE!!  Ellie loved meeting all of the characters and getting to watch these special moments of her brings so much happiness to my heart.  I just can't get over how awesome all of the characters are and the time they spend with each child is so memorable.

Ellie was so excited to meet Elena, I am so glad they had a place special just for her.  Our wait for both Minnie and Elena were pretty short...I was surprised at how short the line was - maybe because they were kind of in a hidden spot of the park?  Elena was totally wonderful with both of the girls and gave Ellie the longest hug!! We plopped Finnley down on the ground for the picture and Elena was so worried she was going to fall over - it was actually kind of funny how concerned she was, also it is mind boggling to me how willing I was to put my 7 month old on the ground at Disneyland without a blanket underneath! oh how I have grown and let certain things go!!!

We walked back over to Cars Land to see in Luigi's Rollickin Roadsters was open (they were closed earlier for maintenance) and they were so she and I hopped in line.  The waiting lines are so full of good things to look at, they even have a topiary in the shape of a car!  The ride was so much fun and I loved experiencing it with my girl for the first time together.  When we swapped with Thomas there was a mechanical issue and they had to get off their cars and wait for about 10 minutes for them to fix it.  Then they were back on the ride and Ellie had even more fun the second time around because she knew what to expect.

While I was watching and waiting for Thomas and Ellie on the Luigi ride both Red and Lightening drove by so I took their pictures - they are always so photogenic ;)

After our ride on Luigi we walked over to Disneyland, get a load of their Christmas decor!!  I just love it so much.  And that Native American is there because the shop behind him used to be a real Tabacco/Smoke Shop!! Can you imagine?!!?!

We made our way over to Tomorrowland and took a ride on Buzz Lightyear Astroblaster's since the line was so short - we practically walked right on!! Thankfully this is a ride that Finnley can go on so we all rode "together" Ellie got her own gun and had so much fun trying to shoot the targets.  These interactive game/rides are such a fun idea.

We stopped into the Bibbity Bobbity Boutique and all Ellie cared about were the shield and swords so she and Dada had a battle - she won.

We walked through Sleeping Beauty's Castle - I always love seeing Maleficent and then made our way over to "it's a small world" and y'all the lights on the ride did not disappoint.  I mean look at how amazing that is!!  While this isn't normally my favorite ride it was so much fun themed for Christmas.  They sing a couple of Christmas songs along with the small world song and even the little people are dressed for the holidays! Definitely a must ride at Christmastime.

Ellie was so excited she wouldn't sit still for a photo:

We made our way back down Main Street USA and Minnie and Mickey were out so we got in line to see our favorites.  I love how they were dressed for the holidays and it's so fun that all of our pictures with them over the past couple of years are different because of the times of year we visit!!

Both Mickey and Minnie were "obsessed" with Ellie's mouse ears on her sweatshirt and they spent so much time making a big deal about them.  I wonder how hard it is to be these characters because they cannot speak!!   but they still do a great job expressing themselves.  Ellie adores them and Finnley actually did so much better than I anticipated!!

We wanted to make sure that for this trip we focused on just enjoying the park and seeing as many characters as we could.  While we still went on a bunch of rides they weren't our main focus this time and it was so nice to have such a "relaxing" visit to the parks!

♥ Ashley 

previous Disneyland visits:

February 2015 day 1/2 day 3 day 4
September 2015 day 1 day 2 day 3 day 4
February 2016 day 1 day 2 day 3 day 4
December 2016 day 1

Thursday, January 12, 2017

The Wednesday Weekly - Week 39

Y'all, I am in complete and utter disbelief that I am writing Finnley's 39th week update! How has she already been a part of our lives for 39 weeks?  She is growing and changing and is just the littlest love ever.  I feel so incredibly blessed to have her in my life and all the babies that I have nannied over the past couple of years have really done a great job in preparing me to be Finnley's Mama!!

Week 39

Eats: girlfriend is still going strong on her formula and bottles, the little squeals we get out of her when she sees us coming with a bottle is the sweetest.  I love the 8 oz bottles because they can hold so much more food - especially since the babe is eating close to 8 oz at each feeding but the fact that she can hold her own 4 oz bottle is very tempting to use especially since the pre-measured formula sticks are for 4 oz.  We've had some success with yogurt, prunes, and Finnley was able to self feed Puffs this week!!! she just picked one right up and put it straight in her mouth!! 

Sleeps: I seriously can't complain too much here.  Before Christmas Finnley took about an hour long nap between 9-10:30am and then her longer nap around 1- 4:00pm but her morning nap has reduced down to about 25 minutes.  I liked that hour long time but at least she is still sleeping in the mornings, since Christmas our schedule has been a little off and then with me getting sick last week we were all just in survival mode.  Now we seem to be on the mend and baby girl is back to being a napper!! Oh and as usual her nighttime sleep is on point.  I try to keep the same routine with her: wrap her in her sleep sack, rock and sing her song, kiss her forehead and lay her down, and walk out.  That's been our routine for most of her 39 weeks of life and it seems to be working out just fine!

Does: she is crawling everywhere, pulling up on everything, and getting stuck and crying.  Finnley babe doesn't quite know how to get herself back down after she has pulled herself up onto her activity table, or chair, or stool or activity cube so she just stands there and cries until we "rescue" her.  I love how mobile she is and how she just shows up around a corner.  Thankfully she's got a big sister who keeps an eye on her and is super helpful in getting Finnley back to "safety" or out of her predicaments. 

Goes: we didn't really go anywhere this week, Thursday we stayed home all day and it was glorious - I even painted the girls bathroom.  Friday we went to work, Saturday and Sunday we pretty much just stayed home the whole time and then we went back to work.  It's been nice having some chill time and just be.  

Loves: her activity cube, activity table, bottles, spoons, the dishwasher, plastic bags (if only we would let her have them), little people, and puffs.

Of Note: sweet girl still has 3 teeth! and she has a fourth that is so close to cutting through, then I could have sworn that I saw another one on top coming through - only time will tell.

Mama: this last week was a rough one with recovering from whatever sickness I had and now I have like a permaheadache that I just cannot kick - probably from all the congestion that is stuck in my sinuses, I am not sure if I will ever get to stop blowing my nose!  Aside from all that nastiness, my emotional state has been pretty good.  I shared earlier about my "Focus Word" for the year and I am really excited about it.  There is something so refreshing about the New Year and getting that new perspective set.  I also started the January Cure again this year with Apartment Therapy to get our house deep cleaned and fresh...I loved it so much last year that I have been looking forward to getting my daily email assignments since last October!

Sister: if ever there was a better sister I would like to meet her.  I absolutely adore about much Ellie loves Finnley (and hope that Finnley feels the same) it was always my hope to raise children/siblings who love each other through and through.  I have had a rough relationship with my siblings over the years so it's been super important to me that I instill positive relationships and coping with my girls.  I love seeing how they work together and I hope that I can raise them to not only be sisters but life long friends who can depend on each other.

&hearts: Ashley

previous weeks

Ellie at 39 weeks

Monday, January 9, 2017

My Word for 2017

I was first introduced to choosing a word (or phrase) to focus on for the year in lieu of choosing a bunch of resolutions that most likely will be forgotten in a matter of weeks in the blogging world. 

Back in 2015 I chose the word Content, I wanted to focus on being happy and content with my life as it was.  I think overall I did a fairly good job at focusing on that but there is always room for improvement.  I did however find a great peace during 2015 after an unfortunate event...our 5th miscarriage and 3 ectopic pregnancy in July.  I had to have surgery for my ruptured fallopian tube and had it removed.  It's strange to find peace from such a tragedy but I was really able to let go of the tight grasp that my infertility had over me.  I am not out of the woods yet but have a much better outlook.  We also did some home improvements which made me much more content in our home: we painted the exterior, installed wood floors, and got a new fridge.  They were such simple and minor changes but have made a huge difference in our quality of life here - your mindset really changes when you love where you are.

I never shared my word for 2016 on the blog but it was "Just Be".  I wanted to just be me and embrace all that that meant.  It was a journey for sure but I had the opportunity to do a lot of self reflection and to work on becoming a better me.  This became even more important as we welcomed a beautiful baby girl into our family this year and putting a focus on being the best me has allowed me to be a better Mama as well.  I have made choices to make sure that I am doing what is best for us and to try and weed out all the the negativity that surrounds our wold.  This wasn't an easy year by any means but if I look at who I am today compared to who I was a year ago, I have so much more self confidence and understanding of who I am.

Okay, y'all are probably done with the history lesson so lets get on to this year's word:

"Just Do"

I want this to be the year of "Do-ing".  Whatever that may mean.  Basically I want to be more active and proactive and to stop making excuses or being lazy.  So here are some examples I have that I hope to embrace for this upcoming year and just Do-ing it:

the kitchen is a mess? get off your ass and clean it
the sheets need to be washed? get off your ass and wash them
hate the paint color in the bathroom? get off your ass, buy some paint and get painting
a lightbulb needs to be changed? get off your ass and change it
want to lose a few pounds? get off your ass, watch your calories and work out
the flowerbed needs weeding? get off your ass a weed it
the barns need a new coat of paint? get off your ass and paint them

So instead of constantly putting things on the back burner I just want get it done so I can check it off my list...spoiler alert: I've already marked something off the list above!! I painted the girls bathroom this week and I love it so very much.  I gave a sneak peek on snapchat (@Alifeonthefarm) but here are some photos for the blog.  It's not done yet but Oh My Word I love it so much more, it's lighter and brighter and all over better.  Here is what it used to look like.

♥ Ashley

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

The Wednesday Weekly - Week 38

This week was a busy one and I didn't get around to taking many pictures.  Remember how the last few weeks I was bragging about how Finnley and I were able to steer clear of the sickness that has been going around?  Well I fell victim to it on New Years Day.  Talk about a way to bring in the new year...I am still recovering and this thing is kicking my butt.
Week 38

Eats: this girl gets so giggley and excited when she sees a bottle its the cutest thing.  I have also been trying to be more purposeful in solids this week, I went shopping with Ellie the other day and thought that yogurt was a good idea.  I like the organic Stoneyfield YoBaby yogurt because it's made with whole milk.  I remember before we had Ellie thinking it was so silly that they made "baby yogurt" but when I went looking for whole milk yogurt it was nearly impossible to find at my local grocery store.  They have lots of flavors and Ellie is still a fan too.  Finnley isn't too fond of french fries, she makes the goofiest face, but she does like the McDonald's variety.

Sleeps: we've lucked out in this dept lately.  Girlfriend is a favorable sleeper and is doing so well at sleeping on the go.  We are averaging about 11.5 hours at night and I love it when she is so asleep that I can sneak in at get a peek or a picture of her!  She napping pretty well these days which has been ideal for sickness recovery.

Does: Finnley is a crawling machine and I just love seeing where she pops up in the house.  Usually I can hear here coming because she is objecting that she has to move herself...but the past couple of days she has been more motivated to get around without fussing.  She is getting into Ellie's toys, dollhouse, trains, and finding ways to entertain herself.  She is also trying to pull up on things so bad, so far she has been able to on her activity cube, her high chair, and our kitchen stools.  She is getting better at holding her bottle and making all sorts of fun noises and sounds.

Goes: on Friday we went to the zoo. And despite me being under the weather we had some running around to do.  On Sunday we went shopping at a mall near us and made a stop by World Market, I saw this rug but might want to hold out for a better deal.  Then on Monday since Thomas was still off we made our way up North to the jewelry store I used to work at before we got married so we could get Thomas a new ring, he has lost a lot of weight and his ring is just too big. Then Finnley and I made a stop at Lowes to get some paint because I decided that painting the girls bathroom was a spectacular idea.

Of Note: sweet Finnley girl got to celebrate her first New Years complete with New Years Day Eve enchiladas.  Except none of us could hang for the ball drop so we all called it an early night (by 9pm).  She cut through her third tooth and by the looks of it has a fourth one on its way!

Mama: I really don't have the words to express of how much I love being a Mama.  Getting to have these two sweet girls is just the bees knees. I have to admit that when this time of year comes around I still have flashbacks to some horrible memories (2 of my miscarriages happened around this time and they haunt me all the time).  Also since I am sick I still have to sing my praises at how awesome not only my girls are but how great Thomas is at helping out - I mean he does all the time anyways I just can appreciate it more when I can't do it!!

Sister: this love grows more and more every day.  Ellie insists on squeezing hugging Finnley's head at least 10 times a day and only manages to make her cry 50% of the time ;)  She wants to make sure that she is included in everything we do and tells me multiple times an house that she loves her sister so much.  Now that Finnley is crawling she is on the constant search and lookout to find her sister and its just the cutest thing.