Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Wednesday Weekly - Week 11

Week 11?!!! Damn it's going by so fast. This has been quite the week for Finnley with a doctors appointment with shots, an airplane ride and going to the beach in another country!!

Week 11

Sleeps: we've had a couple of days that have been off, but girlfriend is still sleeping through the night which I am so pleased about. Her naps seem to be better if we do a bit of tummy time first and then wrap her up in a swaddle. She slept well in the Ergo on our travel day and the heat here in Mexico seems to be working in our favor...

Eats: formula and more formula. Our doc said that we could do solid food if we wanted but we're ok with the formula. I think it's weird to feed food before babes can sit on their own so we'll be waiting until then. 

Goes: we had her 2 month doctor appointment and she got two shots and an oral vaccine. Somehow girlfriend fell asleep while we were waiting for the doc and she got a rude awakening with the shots. The nurse let me hold her for the shots and the second one made her bleed :( but she was a champ for the oral (Ellie on the other hand just spit that stuff out). Finnley babe went on her first plane and just like her big sis her first airplane trip took her out of the country! She also got to take a dip in a pool and just like Ellie her first time at the beach was in a different country! 

Does: Finnley went on her first shoulder ride this week, is all about smiles and is getting pretty good at holding her head up and sometimes when she's on her back she will do a crunch!

Loves: she is finally starting to keep a paci in her mouth so I think that she is becoming a fan, also she doesn't seem to be too particular in which paci she gets!  The Ergo has been a life saver on our trip and she really just loves to sleep. 

Of Note: at her doctors appointment Finnley measured in at 25" long and weight over 12 pounds, so whatever we're doing is working. 

Mama: we are 11 weeks in already and it doesn't seem like it's been that long! We are getting in a groove and I'm seriously just head over heels for this babe!

Sister: same as all the weeks before, Ellie is 100% obsessed with her little sis. She's been begging to hold her all the time this week and threw a fit in the airplane when I told her she had to wait her turn to hold Finnley. I just love how much Ellie loves Finnley and watching their friendship grow is nothing short of a dream come true. Finnley also seems to be growing find of Ellie and is more expressive now so Ellie is finally getting some positive feedback! 

♥ Ashley

previous weeks:

Ellie at 11 weeks

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Wednesday Weekly - Week 10

How has another week gone by already?  Gosh this one went by so fast and Finnley just keeps growing and becoming the sweetest little girl!

Week 10

Sleeps: pretty much the same as every other week.  Although her napping schedule has been sort of out of whack and she is a little bit harder to get down for naps...maybe I should try swaddling her for naps too.  But she is just so darn cute on the boppy and infant seat!Thankfully she is still sleeping through the night which is such a blessing.  I am thinking that we need to get another baby monitor, so we can just move her into her crib at night since she is sleeping so well.

Eats: we are still using the Dr. Brown's Bottles and really like them and the level 2 nipples are still working their magic.  We have actually been starting to just make 6 oz bottles since sometimes Finnley seems to be extra hungry and we've learned they can just go into the fridge if she doesn't drink the whole thing in one feeding - so much nicer than what we did with Ellie!

Goes: my dad had his Retirement/Sending Off Party this past weekend and we had a super fun time celebrating him.  He is a general practitioner and owned his own practice for over 40 years!! He's not done yet as he is moving to Jordan for a few months to provide medical care to the Syrian Refugees!!   The girls had a fun time and we enjoyed showing off our sweet Finnley girl.

Does: I don't think we have anything new going on except that Finnley is all about the smiles when she wakes up in the morning.  She has also been a little more vocal about things in her life and definitely startles much easier than Ellie did.  She is still holding her head up and we love having her sit on our laps while holding her hands to work on her neck, back, and abdominal muscles.

Loves: we are loving our activity mat for tummy time (which Finnley is no longer a fan of...) and have been using a mirror to try and make it more fun - not working, but Ellie loves it ;)  I am still really liking my Ergo and I think that maybe she is getting a bit too big for the infant insert. I haven't used my sling wrap in a few weeks but will try it out again this week - I really do like it.

Of Note: one comment that we are constantly getting is "Oh my she is so alert!!" I don't know if people just forget how alert babies really are or if Finnley really is more alert than most's a mystery to me but I thought I would jot it down this week.  Finnley has her 2 month appointment on Friday and I am looking forward to seeing how much she has grown!  

Mama: this week has been a little rough with Finnley's nap schedule being unpredictable - it's made getting my self imposed chore list completed a real challenge.  But that is life with a babe and seriously she is the perfect addition.  I love her facial expressions, figuring out what makes her smile, and getting spit up on (j/k).  Her cuddles are the best.  

Sister: Ellie has continued to be a fantastic big sister! She loves Finnley so much and is always wanting a hug or a kiss.  This week though she has become fascinated with Finnley's eyes, so I've had to keep a watchful eye on her to ensure that she's not poking them! The highlight of Ellie's day is when Finnley is awake and she doesn't have to be quiet anymore!  Also we have been working on keeping Finnleys hands out of her mouth and now Ellie is assisting in enforcing that rule (if only she could do it herself!).  These two are my favorites and I thank God everyday for making me a Girl Mama x 2!!

♥ Ashley

previous weeks:

Monday, June 20, 2016

Weekending - Retirement Party and Father's Day edition

Y'all it seriously blows my mind that we are already half way through June!! I have no idea how that happened because I'm pretty sure we just had Spring Break!! 

Fortunately or not, here we are and we had ourselves a super busy weekend.  Friday morning started off with a Migraine (my third one of the week....) that took several hours to recover from.  Ellie was great at just snuggling up under a blanket on the couch while we watched Toy Story 2.  The love that Ellie has for Toy Story is indescribable.  Finnley on the other hand was a bit more needy, so unlike her!

Once I was on the mend and my meds kicked in, the girls and I headed out to the farm to feed the animals and play around a bit.  Well Ellie played and I scooped poop with Finnley in the Ergo. We made our way into the goat pen (where Paladin our miniature horse lives too) and Ellie had a blast playing on all the goat toys, then I looked over and caught this picture! 

Paladin has been in my life since I was in 6th grade.  I am pretty sure my love for him has never been as strong as Ellie's love for him! She absolutely adores him and getting to see my sweet girl create this love of animals and the opportunities to get to have a horse at 3 years old is a dream come true to my younger horse loving self!!

After our farm adventure we headed inside, had some lunch and played a bit before it was naptime.  Finnley was really trying to party all day but I was finally able to get her down for a nap at the same time as Ellie, all the praise hands emojis.  While Finnley napped I caught up on Reign on Netflix.  I am not sure why I am so into this show because it is completely not historically accurate but I really do enjoy the story line regardless.  Not only that but the show has sparked an interest in Mary Queen of Scots, the conflict between Protestants and Catholics, and how women were treated like property that I have done some research on them and have learned a lot!!

We ended the evening with some Pizza and watched Zootopia! What a cute movie, and I can totes tell that I am turning into my mom because I will cry and get emotional over everything!!!

Saturday morning I woke up 10 minutes after I was supposed to leave for work! So I rushed there and was only 3 minutes late (no I didn't speed!).  After I finished my shift I headed to the local Farmers Market to pick up some more fresh market flowers and a pie for Father's Day.

When I got home we did some playing around the house with Ellie, had lunch and then put Ellie down for her nap early...well attempted to get her down early.  My dad is retiring after 40+ years of practicing medicine as a General Practitioner and closing up his practice.  We had his retirement party on Saturday and we needed to leave during Ellie's naptime to head up and get the room set up for the party. 

All of the cousins (on my side of the family) were there along with a bunch of other little kiddos.  Ellie was in heaven playing with all of her new "friends", she is SO friendly! Not only was this a Retirement Party for my dad but it was also a Send Off party for him because he is flying over to Jordan to be a doctor to the Syrian Refugees through a missionary organization.  He will only be gone for a couple of months, but we are going to miss him something fierce, please pray for his safety and health while he is overseas.

Then on Sunday, Finnley and I went to church with my dad and we had a lovely lunch at my sister's with all the leftovers from the party - so it was a Charcuterie and cheese board, I live for those!  And some more cousin time.  My brother has 7 month old twin boys who are just 2 inches taller than Finnley!! and it was so nice to spend time all together.

After lunch with my family, Finnley and I headed back to my Inlaws for a Father's Day BBQ with Thomas family.  Ellie had a total blast with her big girl cousins and cried and cried when it was time to go! We were so busy the whole day that I was too into living up the moments to take any pictures - blogger fail!!

I hope y'all had a fantastic weekend and showed some love to the Father's in your life, whether they are already a Father, soon to be Father, Father to children who have passed before or after birth, or the Father's longing to be.

♥ Ashley

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The Wednesday Weekly- Week 9

Here we are again with another seriously feels like these weeks are just flying by!  It really just blows my mind that Finnley has been in our lives for only 9 weeks - it seems like she has always been in our family.  This week was pretty full and I was just so busy living it that I really didn't take many pictures!  I know this happens and the memories are great but I miss the documentation of it - I will try to do better this coming week.

Week 9

Eats: nothing new here except we really haven't had too many spitups and her hiccups are fewer and farer (is that even a word?) between so that has been a nice change.  We are still using level 2 nipples and have used up all of our free formula so we are getting the giant one from Costco.  I feel like Finnley is more of a cluster feeder than a scheduled eater - which actually seems to be working quite well.  Generally she'll eat a 4oz botter per feeding, but sometimes it's only 2 and others it will be 6.

Sleeps: when we started the adoption process again this time, Ellie and I prayed every night for a healthy babe - and one that was a better sleeper than Ellie.  So far God has answered our prayers and girlfriend has been very agreeable when it comes to sleep. Not sure how we got so lucky but she is sleeping through the night! (which is more than I can say for Big Sis...) She's been going down around 9pm and not up until around 6am!!! She naps throughout the day and I have been able to lay her down to sleep while still awake and she is able to just put herself to sleep.  She doesn't enjoy rocking our bouncing...just laying there works for her!

Goes: this sweet girl is up for anything and has been the best go with the flow babe! We went to gymnastics, the zoo, a new friends house, and out to eat.  She is just up for anything as long as she gets to be with us.  Sometimes she is awake during our excursions and other times she just sleeps through it all.

Loves: we got this little stroller type toy (similar) for Ellie and we have now given it to Finnley and she is an even bigger fan of it.  She's been really into putting things in her mouth so to distract her from her hands (thumb sucking is soo hard to quit) and avoid thumb sucking we have given her this little toy and it seems to do the trick!   I have been all about the Ergo this week and have gotten lots of use out of it.  Those darn infant carriers take up so much freaking space in a shopping cart there isn't any room for the food!! So I have started to wear Finn when we go grocery shopping this week and it makes the trip so much easier. I have been using both of my Ergo's because the one with the infant insert can be a bit of a challenge sometimes so I also use the one without and they both work just fine. I never had an infant insert with Ellie but I have appreciated it with Finnley - though she is much bigger than Ellie was when I first got the Ergo so I feel just fine about not using the insert.

Does: smiles so big in the morning, I love that she wakes up with such a happy heart! She is becoming much more interactive which I like so much better, can roll onto her side, holds her head up, dislikes tummy time (sometimes) and is getting better with diaper changes.

Of Note: she turned 2 months this week and I'm in love wither her monthly picture! She is wearing a bow that I made and not only is her smile adorable but she grabbed a hold of the flower!!! A girl after my own heart. We got her passport in the mail, which was such a relief and I don't think I will ever tire seeing my girls legal names on documents!  Now that we got her passport we can go on our family vacation to Mexico!! We weren't sure if we were going to be able to go if we didn't get her passport in time.

Mama: just living this life with these two is a dream come true.  We have had our rough days and I have lost my temper more than once but I wouldn't trade it for anything!! Having the opportunity to watch and nurture a relationship between these two girls is nothing short of amazing and I thank God everyday for this life.

Sister: I feel like I just repeat myself every week in this section of the weekly update but it continues to ring true.  Ellie is still so obsessed with Finnley and is a great big sister! I had a feeling that she was going to embrace this role but I had no idea that she would be such a rock star about it!!

♥ Ashley

previous weeks
one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight 

Ellie at 9 weeks

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Ellie is Three

Somehow I blinked and my sweet Luella Faith is 3 years old!! I have no idea how that happened so quickly but I wouldn't trade a minute of it.  She is the sweetest little girl, full of so much spunk and spirit, the kindest heart, and belly full of giggles.  She loves to laugh (and cry), her animals, her pacifier and most of all she loves her sister "Too Much"!  

I don't know how we got so lucky to have this little doll all to ourselves but I thank the Lord every single day for her.  I never could have imagined that the sweet little babe they brought into our hospital room 3 years ago was going to grow up to be such a wonderful girl.  My heart explodes on the daily with an overwhelming feeling of love for her.

Even though this sweet girl getting to be so big, she is still super small and I couldn't love that more about her. She still wears a lot of her 2T clothes and I even put her in a few 18 month sizes.  I know that she can wear the 3T sizes but sometimes the pants (waistband) are too big.  I would like to say she is about 85% potty trained and finally has the concept down.  We have had ups and downs with the potty training journey, probably just like everyone else. She has had days where she is on top of it and other days that are full of accidents.  At first she got marshmallows, then we stopped because she was having too many accidents.  When we tried it back up again, we just gave lots of praise (and monies for her piggy bank).  She was doing great and then we had a regression so we went back to marshmallows and we have more days that are successful than not.  Her favorite reward is to get a quick bath immediately following a successful #2 on the potty.  There have been a few occasions where we had to forego the bath but overall she is doing really well.

Ellie got to choose her party theme this year and after going up and down the aisles at Party City a dozen times she decided on Frozen.  You can read all about her party here

Some pictures with our girl the night before she turned 3

We also went to the doctor a few days after her birthday and now that Ellie is three she gets to change into an exam robe...

She was a wild girl jumping onto the stool while waiting for the doctor but she did great and got to have her very first lollipop while we were waiting for Finnley to get her shot. And in true Ellie form she is still in 40th percentile for height and weight.  I love my tiny girl so much!

Ellie is a doting sister always so excited for when Finnley is awake, great at getting Finnley a paci when "needed" and is always trying to give her hugs and kisses.  She was so concerned that Finnley doesn't have her own Bitty Baby that she said "that's okay I will share with her". 

Girlfriend is extremely active and loves all of her "friends", which basically means anytime she sees a kid around her age they're her friend - so sweet.  She loves to go to gymnastics and try out all the equipment. I am so excited that she is finally 3 so that she can now go into a more structured class.  She also goes to swimming lessons - the parent/child variety.  While she loves to splash around in the pool, it's not her favorite activity. Her least favorite thing to do is to dunk her head under water - so that is going to be our biggest feat.  I am pretty sure that once she gets over that we will have a little fish on our hands.

My sweet Ellie Faith, you are a shining light in my life and I am so grateful that God chose me to be your Mama.  I have loved watching you grow and learn this past year and I can't wait to see your personality develop more and to see what new things you do!!

I love you babe!!

♥ Ashley

Monday, June 13, 2016

What a Weekend - Supper Club and the Zoo

Our weekend was full and busy and wonderful!

Friday was full of two girls sleeping and I mean how cute is little Finn with her hands by her head?!!! I just can't take it and if you know me then you know I love to watch my girls sleep...they are so calm and peaceful.

The rest of Friday is actually a blur.  Dinner was a recipe from the June BHG magazine and it was so simple and easy, it was Chicken with Basil Sauce and a Cucumber Radish Salad.  I couldn't find any sprouts at the store so I just used lettuce and it was still delish.  Definitely something that will be going on rotation. (Spoiler Alert: it was so good we had it on Sunday for dinner too!)

Saturday Morning I woke up bright and early and continued binge watching Reign on Netflix, I am almost done with season 1 and I seriously cannot stop thinking about it.  Netflix is terrible that way...that you can watch an entire season/series in a matter of days...but oh it is so wonderful for the same reason.  After an episode I went to check in on my loves (Ellie fell out of her bed in the middle of the night so Thomas went in to keep her safe) and I just couldn't help myself!!

I was actually able to cover someone's shift at work (PTL) in the morning so I headed out and since I was near town I stopped by the Farmers Market on my way home and picked up these beauties...nothing beats fresh flowers.

When I got home Thomas was so kind to help clean up the house since I was hosting Supper Club that night.  He helped watch the girls while I got stuff ready (including myself - and how about that hair)

After the girls got up from their naps Thomas helped with a few more things and I got my lovin's on my girls and then they headed out to his parents house for dinner.

Supper Club is so fun - not everyone can make it but I love the opportunity to entertain and fellowship with other ladies - that is one thing that a lot of SAHM's are missing out on since we are basically spending our days with toddlers!

Here is what I served:  

All of the recipes can be found in this book and most of them have been delicious.  I have made this dinner before and loved it so much, I was so happy to have it again.

I set the table with my favorite china - it's an old vintage set my mom got shortly after she and my dad got married.  It has a special place in my heart and I have so many fond memories eating dinners off of these plates that to get to use them again...words cannot express my gratitude.

I mean how gorgeous are they?  I love the gold trim, the green leaves and the set comes with so many pieces.  I used my wedding glassware (similar), wedding silverware, and these adorable napkins along with one of my mom's lace tablecloths.

And some beautiful farmers market flowers 

The cheese plate was one of my favorites.  I remember when my mom used to host dinners she would put grape leaves under the cheeses and that was so pretty.  On my cheese plate I had three different cheeses, some pretzel crackers and a salami along with some fresh cherries in a bowl.

Try though I might my caprese towers kept falling over...oh well

We had a great time and I drank too much wine (1 1/2 glasses...) and awoke with a migraine.  But look at this cutie!!  She loves to hang out in her lounger and we just gave her this toy we had for Ellie (similar, similar) and she is obsessed with it!  She likes to suck on it and has been a pretty good soother for her, we don't want her using her fingers or thumb for that.

Then after some coffee, feeding the animals and watering the vegetable garden we got ready to head out to the zoo.  We are members and try to take advantage of our membership by going often.   We finally remember to bring Ellie's "nockers" or binoculars with us and she insisted on using them backwards.

It only took us 4 trips but we finally were able to see the elusive Cougar.  He (or she) is usually hiding behind a tree in the back of her area but on Sunday she was out in one of her "caves" and that was so cool! After the cougar we saw the Bobcat, Ellie's favorite, and he was hunting a bird and climbed up one of the trees a bit trying to catch the bird!! It was super cool.

After checking out all the cats it was time for our Tram ride and it seemed like all the animals were out this time.  Our tour guide was the best yet and so full of interesting facts and information.  The tram ride is about an hour and Ellie was fantastic for 55 minutes of it ;) and Finnley was a rock star in the Ergo.


Baby Bison calf with her Mama

The beautiful Mountain Goat.  There are only two in the park and we actually got to see both of them.  The other one was out across the lake when we first took off (between the trees in the Caribou picture) but this one was right on the side of the road and it seriously made our trip! #goatfarmers

And then towards the end we caught a glimpse of this gorgeous Elk...all I wanted to do was get out and pet his nose!! He is so beautiful and I cannot believe how lucky we were to see him, get this close to him, and that I was able to snap this picture of him!! Thank you iPhone 6.

After the tram ride we got an Ice Cream cone to share - it was so good we couldn't stop for a picture - and then Ellie wanted to go to the playground.  She always wants to go to the sandbox but I told her she had to play in other areas first and since she was in her rain boots we let her go in the "river"  she loved splashing around in it!

After playing around at the park for a bit it was time to head home for lunch and naps.  After naps the babe wanted to chill on the couch like a big girl!!

Then we had dinner and that was about the extent of our weekend.  Full but great and this coming week has so much to look forward to!  Thomas birthday, Father's Day and my Dad is finally retiring and we're having a retirement party for him on Saturday.  Then in a couple weeks he will be heading our to Jordan to work as a Doctor in the missionary field - more on that later.

Happy Monday Friends! 

♥ Ashley

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