Friday, May 27, 2016

That Friday post - gymnastics, the zoo, and smoothies

I have like five posts in my draft folder but decided I'd rather do a Friday post. Hopefully I'll get some of those drafts published next week.  I have an Ellie is 3 post, a recipe for some awesome Applesauce Oatmeal muffins, and our last day in Disneyland still to share from back in February!!

But for now lets get on to some random stuff:

Gymnastics is Ellie's favorite.  We went twice this week (Tues and Thurs) and she just can't get enough.  Tuesday was a bit rough with several pee accidents before we left - so I threw in the towel and she wore a diaper.  Thursday was much better and she got to go diaper free!!!

She loved jumping on Thursday and was all about the rope swing on Tuesday.  I just have so much fun watching her explore all the different equipment and can't wait to sign her up for real gymnastics class next session!!  Right now she is in the Toddler Gym and it's just a free for all...which is great for her but pulls at my OCD, Rules Enforcing self every single time.  So next session she will get to go into a structured class and I am sure I will feel a huge sense of relief with her getting some order in her life.

And now Finnley gets to tag along to gym class too.  We just hang out and chase Ellie around which is always fun...

We got memberships to our local Zoo and they have a super cool new play area for the kids with all sorts of things to do....Ellie's favorite is my least favorite - the sand box.  She beelines there every time and could stay there all day if I could handle it.

We took a walk around to check out the animals and were able to call the Bobcat out of hiding to come say "hi" my cell phone pics are horrible but you can just make him out.

Then we walked by the Grey Wolves habitat and were able to see them right up close.

In the safety of our dead end street I let Ellie help me drive and park the car in the driveway.  She loved it so much and it brought back memories of when I used to get to do this with my mom!!

Speaking of my mom, on Tuesday I cleaned out my car and found lots of random stuff from 10 years receipts from 2005, why I still had them is beyond me.  Except that I cleaning out the car is probably one of my least favorite things to do.  However, in the process I came across a birthday card from 7 years ago for my 25th birthday.  I opened it and the little note my mom wrote brought me to tears right out on my driveway....if only we had known that I would get just under 3 years with her from my 25th birthday....actually it's making me cry right now.  I am forever grateful that I kept cards and am starting to think that maybe Thomas and I should start getting cards for the girls so that they can have these memories.

On a happier note: I have started making smoothies again and Ellie is a fan!! I don't do anything special, just some frozen fruit, Greek yogurt and some milk.  Maybe I'll get adventurous and throw in some spinach...we shall see ;)

Have a Happy Weekend and let's all take a minute to remember those who sacrificed their lives for our country.  God Bless the USA!

♥ Ashley

Be sure to check out my previous posts 

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Wednesday Weekly - Week 6

I guess I have to say it is it Wednesday already?!!! I am sure that this is going to be a recurring statement/question for the next 46 weeks!

This week has been a big game changer in the life with two kiddos.  Ellie has started to be super needy (and extra lax on her pottying...)  while Finnley has been a difficult one to get to take a nap.  We've had projectile vomit/spit up, multiple potty accidents, and peeing on the changing pad without a diaper this week and I just want to take a nap!!!

Regardless...this little sweetie has been just that, a sweetie!  She's not super fussy and is definitely becoming more aware.  I love her so!

Eats: formula, formula and more formula.  She is a much different eater than Ellie ever was.  She is a cluster feeder and will suck down 4-6 ounces within an hour and then other times will be good with just 1/2 an ounce.  Sometimes she wants to eat every 45 minutes and other days she can go a few hours between feedings.  Ellie was very constant with finishing a bottle every 3 hours!  Finnley has finally started to let us know when she is hungry with some loud cries (just like Ellie) and can get herself so worked up that as soon as we get the bottle in her mouth (not even 60 seconds later) she will start sucking and then immediately fall asleep.

Sleeps: well Finnley is a great sleeper at night.  Thomas and I have a deal that he puts her to bed and then I'll get up with her in the middle of the night.  We've been doing that since she was about 1 week old and it's been quite the deal for me.  She has been sleeping close to 7 hours at night so I haven't really had to get up with her!!  Which is so different than Ellie who was up every 3-4 hours....who actually still isn't sleeping through the night on a consistent basis.  While Finnley is awesome at night sleeping her naps are pretty inconsistent and you never know what kind of day you're gonna get...but those long night stretches are totes worth it!

Goes: we did quite a bit this week.  Gymnastics and Swimming for Ellie, to the doctors office for her 1 month and Ellie's 3 year check ups, and celebrating Ellie's 3rd birthday (recap coming soon). 

Loves: I think it's safe to say that she loves her bassinet (obvi because of her long night stretches) our bottles and then the sling carrier...I love it because it's easy - no wrapping, no tying, and no snapping - just slip it on, put her in and we're off!!

Does: holding her head up, cries, gets the hiccups and spits up daily, is a growing machine and can rollover onto her back during tummy time.

Of Note: at her 1 month check up she weighed in at 10+ lbs and is already 24 inches long!!! It's so funny because she is pretty big for a 1 month old but people are always commenting on how little she is - peeps be weird.  Her hair is finally starting to grow back in, she got what I like to call Male Pattern baldness and thankfully her white spot is still there!!  She does have quite a few stork bites on the back of her head and neckline that our doc says should probably go away in a couple months...if not its not too big of a deal because once her hair grows in you won't even see it!

On Monday, May 23rd, we had our court hearing to finalize our adoption of Finnley.  It's all part of the process of adoption and really is nothing to stress over.  Since we adopted from across our state we were able to have the hearing over the phone while we were in the comfort of our own home (in our pj's).  We spoke with the judge and told her how much we love Finnley and will raise her as if she was our own biological child, that we would provide for her all the things that she needs, and show her unconditional love.  Then the judge said she was signing the paper and we were legally a family of four and that Finnley would now have our last name!!  We are so proud to announce that she is Fionnoula Ann!!!

Mama: as I mentioned this week has been a little rough but honestly I wouldn't change a thing.  It's always been a dream of mine to have childREN and now I have them.  I feel so blessed to get to be their Mama and I really am not feeling an emptiness anymore.  I remember when we first brought Ellie home I was so incredibly happy but still had a sense of sadness at not being able to be pregnant myself, but now I think I have fully accepted my infertility and barrenness.  I have actually had this "calmness" about it since my ectopic back in July and I have really been able to get myself into a good place emotionally.

Sister: the love Ellie has for Finnley is still going strong and I just can't get over it!! When Finnley cries Ellie will tell her "It's okay Finnley, everything's going to be alright" or "It's okay Finnley, I'll be right there!!"  She loves to hold her and kiss her and hug her.  She tries to pick her up and is always asking if Finnley will share her paci with her (since Ellie really is only supposed to have hers in her bed...)  Ellie and I were going to swim lessons, while Thomas stayed home with Finn, and we were on the phone talking to each other - Ellie heard Finnley fussing and said over the phone "It's okay Finnley, I'm just going swimming and then I will be back to kiss you!" How did I get so lucky?!! 

♥ Ashley

previous weeks:
week 1
week 2
week 3
week 4
week 5

Ellie at 6 weeks

Friday, May 20, 2016

Friday - the one before she turns 3

Better late than never was the Motto I was raised with, but now as I am older and hosting things myself...being routinely late is incredibly disrespectful.  Thankfully for myself and all of us that doesn't apply to this post!!

This week has gone by so fast...but also has taken forever at the same time!  I remember this day so vividly three years ago.  Thomas and I carpooled to work because we were going to be leaving straight from (my) work to the other side of the state!  We put in a full day at school and then drove the 5+ hours to stay the night at my Aunt's house.  The reason we made this trip was because we were awaiting Ellie's scheduled c-section arrival the next day.  Which means that tomorrow my sweet nugget will be THREE!! Each year is better than the last and her growing up doesn't make me sad at all.  I am so looking forward to what 3 brings to us this year and know that she is going to change a lot.

Let's get onto this weeks randoms:

For Mother's Day I ordered a charm from Bip & Bop to add to my necklace for Finnley and it finally arrived yesterday!! I love it so much and now I don't think I'm ever going to take this off!!

The packaging is adorable and Nicole, the shop owner, includes the sweetest little notes.  She is so easy and great to work with and I love her stuff!! 

I already had the circle charm for Ellie (along with her birthstone) so I wanted something a little different for Finnley and went with the bar.  It is perfect!!

I had to play around with some Snapchat filters (@Alifeonthefarm) because I always seem to look so much better in them and look at this!!

Ellie had her first (planned) sleepover last night at Nanny's house.  Honestly I didn't sleep well at all - and you can tell by the giant bags under my eyes.  The only other time she hasn't slept without us was when I had my ectopic rupture and went in for emergency surgery last July (miscarriage #5 if you're counting).  So it's just been me and Finnley today and we took full advantage of Snapchat selfies...go check it out because Finn is hilarious with those filters ;)

Before we made the drop off at Nanny's we all went out to Red Robin for dinner and decided to have a pre-birthday celebration for our almost 3 year old!  All she could talk about was when are they going to sing me my birthday song? and then they brought her a sundae!  She loved the cherry and whipped cream - but they put chocolate sauce on it and girlfriend does not like chocolate. Not gonna lie - it comes in handy ;)

I made this poster for Ellie and as soon as I brought it home she wanted to color on it with!!

Also to note we went to the doctor earlier this week to get Ellie's staple taken out of her head.  She is healing wonderfully and it was so quick and easy!  This is her version of a Thumbs Up for Dada.

The girls and I made a quick trip to Hobby Lobby to grab a few things, like new knobs for our pantry doors...they have been giving us quite the problem lately and we're thinking we might just get rid of my beloved chalkboard doors and replace with barn doors or something....

And Ellie is finally starting to understand the Potty!! Her reward for pooping is a bath right away...seems to be working!!! We've had several diaper free days and only a handful of accidents!  So happy this is finally happening.

Happy Weekend Y'all.  

♥ Ashley

Thursday, May 19, 2016

{Travel Diaries} Disneyland February 2016 - Day 3

I'm back with the recap for our 3rd day in Disneyland back in February.  On Day 2 we met up with Ellie's cousins who were vacationing in San Diego and she had so much fun, I was a bit worried she would be sad that they weren't with us for Day 3 but then it's Disneyland and who doesn't have fun there??

We woke up bright and early to hit the Magic Hour in Disneyland.  My toms had dried out a bit but I used the hair dryer to speed things up and then we were good to go...only as we were walking running towards the main gate I stepped in a huge puddle and my shoes got soaked again...  Once inside we of course started our morning off the right way with Coffee with Character at the Starbucks on Mainstreet USA.  We went with the villain theme and you know I had to pick my favorite villain...Maleficent - but unfortunately the cast member didn't know how to spell her name (she should be fired!! j/k) and Thomas went with Gaston. This got me thinking about my two favorite villains - Maleficent and the Wicked Witch they have a similarity...they both have green skin!!

Oh and in case you're wondering my go to drink at the Bucks is a Grande Upside Down Caramel Macchiato but this trip we had to go with a Triple Shot ;)

Our past two trips (Feb 2015, Sept 2015) we used our Extra Magic Hour in Fantasyland but this time around we hit up Tomorrowland and got on the Astro Orbitor because that line is ridic...we got a boarding pass and somehow managed to fit all three of us on a spaceship together!

And that pretty much took the entirety of our extra hour!!! Then someone I know was begging for the Carousel so we made our way that direction.

we did some wandering around trying to get on Pinnochio but it had a "breakdown" and was temporarily closed. So we made our way to "it's a small world".

It was a bit chilly for me so I used what we had to warm poncho.  We scored this awesome picture from someone waiting in line with us and it might be my favorite!!

'it's a small world" is right next to Mickey's Toontown, we wanted to try and see some characters so we made our way that direction. We found Goofy and Ellie was so excited!

We got in line for Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin and the line was much longer than what the reader board said outside...which seems to be a trend with this ride.  Regardless the line has enough entertainment that Ellie didn't seem to notice too much.

And then halfway through the ride it shut down and we were escorted out of the ride by a cast member.  We stepped out of line for a photo op, but had to go quickly so we wouldn't get in trouble ;)

We walked around Toontown a bit and Ellie saw the Trolley and did NOT want to get off!! 

Finally we made our way to Maiinstreet to meet with some characters...they were all heading out for a break when we got there so we did what we do and hung out for them.  While we were waiting Ellie was trying to jump up the curb and a Cast Member thought she was so cute so he asked her who she was waiting for.  She replied Minnie Mouse, he said ok and went in to tell her to look for Ellie when she came out.  

First out was Pluto and Mickey and Ellie ran for hugs...

and then the Cast Member let Mickey know that Ellie was waiting for his girlfriend, Minnie, to come out so he waited with her!!! Seriously how does my pumpkin get this lucky???!!!!

Minnie Mouse and Daisy Duck came out together and started "fighting" over Ellie, but ultimately Minnie won and took Ellie on a tour around the square while looking for her picture spot.

One of my favorite pictures to date!!

And because Mickey was so nice to wait with Ellie we had to get a picture with him too!!

Then we got in line for Daisy...we didn't want to make her too upset about Ellie choosing Minnie over her!

and all Ellie wanted to do was stick her hand in Daisy's mouth!! Silly girl almost got us kicked out ;)

We got back in the stroller and Ellie had some of her Character Milk (Gaston).

We finally got some ears!! 

but I think Ellie's are my fave!!

And made our way to lunch at the Carnation Cafe.  We shared Walt's Chili for an app and it was good...super filling and extra hot (temperature).  I ordered the Homemade Meatloaf from Walt's Favorites and it's now my favorite - I still think about it and want some more!!

Thomas had the Sourdough Bacon Cheese Melt and he took a bite out before I could snap a pic...boys!!!  It was also really good!! I can't remember what Thomas' parents got for lunch but I do remember that it was delish, and Ellie did what we usually do and ate bites off our plates.

And then this happened!! So we made our way to Disney California Adventure to ride Radiator Springs.  Thomas and his parents went first while I stayed back with Sleeping Beauty.  When they came back I hopped in line and Thomas saw me as he was exiting so he "line jumped" (sorry Sheldon) and took a second spin.  I mentioned before that we just go in the Single Rider line because it's SO much faster, there are signs all over saying that you WILL be separated from your party and will NOT get to be in the same car...

Well somehow we lucked out and got to be in the same car!!!

Unfortunately it wasn't a good thing because for the first time the car I was in lost!!! My winning streak is officially over!! 

Ellie was still sleeping when we got off!! Stroller naps FTW.  We made our way to Goofy's Sky School on Paradise Pier with Papa and Nanny sat back with Ellie.  It was my first time on the ride and had no idea what to expect...except they said to hold on to your hats ears!! Holy moly that was a crazy ride and I was actually screaming practically the whole time!! It doesn't look that intimidating but you make these tight hairpin turns and it seriously feels like your plane is going to fly off the tracks!!! I was sure we were going to fall out.

Ellie girl was awake when we got off the ride and we made our way to some rides that she could go on like Heimlich's Chew Chew Train and all Ellie wanted to do was be held by Nanny.

Somehow we were able to convince her to ride the train with us.

Then we got in line for Francis' Ladybug Boogie.  It's similar to the tea cups but much more jarring and abrupt...not a smooth ride by any means.  The group ahead of us had a mom with three young kids, including an infant, and the cast member stopped the ride halfway through because the mom was holding the infant on her lap...which apparently isn't allowed, all riders have to sit on the seat - which I wouldn't let my infant sit on the seat with how rough the ride is, so she had to get off with her kids and try something was pretty stupid.

** Before we had lunch we got Ellie this Anna/Elsa doll that you flip and it becomes one or the other**
As we were walking through the Hollywood Pictures Backlot area of DCA we saw that the Frozen Sing-Along was about to happen.  We parked the stroller and went right in, no waiting in line!

It was really fun they did a shortened version of the movie but sang all the songs and we had to sing-along too...Ellie loved it and kept waving her Anna/Elsa all around.

Our next stop was to ride Monsters, Inc Mike and Sully to the Rescue! It's one of our favorite rides but the line was SO long (probably because the Sing-Along just got out and they are right next to each other).  And today must have been the day for rides to break down because this one broke down right as we were at the end of it!  That's okay because we got to get some awesome photos while waiting for the Cast Member to release us and escort us out.

On our way out we were a little hungry so we got ourselves a Turkey Leg!! Ellie loved it, Thomas did too ... I think I'm good on the Turkey Legs for the rest of my life, just not my thing - I'll take a churro or two please ;)

As we were getting our Turkey leg, people were lining up for the Pixar Play Parade.  We have been wanting to see it for Ellie (because Cars) so we found a spot on the curb and waited.  Ellie met a little friend and they enjoyed entertaining themselves by jumping off the curb 100 million times.  The little girl was so sweet (about a year older than Ellie) and really tried to help me enforce Ellie's proximity to me i.e. keeping her close!  Thank girlfriend!! Her parents kept telling her to leave Ellie alone and that her mama is capable of taking care of her...but it was just so sweet - she is one of my favorites!

Ellie adored the parade as we thought she would.  I am not sure if I can tell you which part is her favorite because she just got so excited the whole time...but when Mike showed up that was pretty big, same thing with Woody and Buzz and then of course with Lightening McQueen too ... she did keep asking where Red is...she loves herself a Firetruck.

After the parade we made our way back to Disneyland to ride on the Tea Cups, the Carousel and watch the Paint the Night Parade (for reals this time).  

These two had to share a horse because someone stole our third horse!!!  Oh well, it's a good thing Ellie loves her Dada!!

Thomas parents saved us a spot for the parade and when we got there his mom had a crazy story to tell us about how ridiculous people are about these parades.  I guess there was this lady sitting on the bench behind us saving it for her family and this other group came in and sat down right next to her, she told them she was saving it and their reply was basically "too bad because we're sitting here...get over it" so her entire family had to squeeze in on the ground instead of on the bench.  WOW!!

The parade was so cool and Ellie really enjoyed it.  Thomas parent's kept commenting on how much more fantastic and bright it was compared to the Electric Light Parade they remember from yesteryear.

Mack is always a big hit with our little nugget.

My favorite!!

and this one is pretty awesome, I have to admit.

But Mickey is the most impressive.

The Matterhorn during the Disneyland Forever fireworks show

and Sleeping Beauty's Castle is all its Diamond Anniversary glory.

By this time I was absolutely starving so we stopped in for a hotdog and it was so good!

We then called it a night and Ellie was fast asleep. No one sleeps better than after a full day at Disney!!

What is your favorite thing about Disneyland??

♥ Ashley

Previous Disneyland Trips:
February 2016 Day One, Day Two
September 2015 Day One, Day Two, Day Three, Day Four
February 2015 Day One/Two, Day Three, Day Four