Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The Wednesday Weekly - Week 15

And here we are at another Wednesday! 

I was reflecting today about our first pregnancy...if it hadn't ended in a miscarriage that sweet babe would have turned 5 today.  I could have a five year old!!  That just blows my mind.  Even though I never met that little nugget I love them dearly and think of them every day.  But as I was reflecting and thinking about the bloggers I follow and how they posted weekly bumpdates while pregnant and then how so many of them posted weekly updates once their bundles of joy arrived, I am so grateful for God's plan, not only because Ellie and Finnley wouldn't be a part of our lives but also because I was inspired by those bloggers to document my daughter's first year of life.  Without reading those blog posts I can pretty much guarantee that my 5 year old wouldn't have posts like these - and these posts are my all time favorites.

We have had a super busy week but it also feels like we haven't really done that much, funny how that works.

Week 15

Eats: nothing really new here.  Finnley is all about the bottle and is still having her bouts of spit up.  One thing we noticed this week is that she has gas long after she at least an hour or more.  We were out at a Vietnamese restaurant this week and were served lime with our Pho so we gave Finnley a taste - as you can imagine she wasn't a fan. 

Sleeps: this girl is so much different than Ellie.  Finnley is still being a super sleeper at night.  Her day naps are still inconsistent but I am pretty sure that is normal at 3 months old.  The best part about all of it though is that we can lay Finnley down to go to sleep and 80% of the time she will fall alseep without fussing!! This is so different than Ellie who needed to be rocked/bounced to sleep in our arms and then very delicately transferred to her bed (for about 15 months).  We are so hoping this will continue to be her sleep routine. We do still have her sleeping in the bassinet in our room and are looking into a monitor so we can move her into her nursery.

not quite her crib...but it is her room so I'll call it a win ;)

Goes:  baby girl was still in Vancouver, BC and she went to all our favorite places.  We went out to lunch at the best Italian spot and she hung out on the booth just like Ellie did on her first visit there.  We made our way to Granville Island and the market and enjoyed a slice of Pride Cake, well we did - Finnley had a bottle.  We also made a quick trip to our local Farmers Market on Saturday, went to a new park on Sunday, and went to visit my best childhood friend in a quaint little town, Poulsbo.

Does: smiles all the time, cries for attention and as soon as she sees you or you pick her up she gives all the smiles, holds her head up, hates tummy time but can roll onto her side from back to side, drools all over the place and has the best burps.

Loves: to smile, to make all the noises, the baby swing and infant walker, her sister, mama and dada, and girfriend is finally getting more comfortable in her car seat but prefers it to be moving.

Of Note: Finnley babe is tall and it's time for me to move the straps on her car seat so she can fit in it better.  I can tell that she is taking everything in and is incredibly observant and even though she has her meltdowns she really is the sweetest babe.

Mama: Finnley is a mama's girl right now and I L O V E love it!  She wants to be held all the time (slight exaggeration) and my heart is so full and happy.  Last year when we had our 5th miscarriage it flipped a switch in my and as funny as it sounds I am a much happier person.  I finally accepted my infertility and was able to get out of the depths of it.  I have found myself again this year and just feel like I am in a much better place in my life.  Having this new outlook on life has really allowed me to truly and fully enjoy this special time with Finnley girl and to embrace all of her goodness.

Sister:  once again Ellie is all about her sister.  She tells me all the time that "I love Finnley so much" and whenever we are going to go somewhere she always wants Finnley to come too (like we'd leave her behind!!) We got out all of the infant toys this week and Ellie was so excited about the "TOYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" that she is having a hard time sharing them with her sister but is actually doing a really good job of it. I could only have hoped that Ellie would love her sister as much as she does and I can't believe how lucky I am that she does.  And we do get to have a sister picture this week because when I mentioned to Ellie that it was time for Finnley's photo shoot, she marched right into her room and got her bunny and sheepskin so she could have pictures too!

♥ Ashley

previous weeks

Ellie at 15 weeks

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Wednesday Weekly - Week 14

Fourteen weeks?!!!?!?!!? Wow that went by fast!  I remember before Ellie was born reading the weekly updates of my favorite bloggers and even then it seemed like it went fairly fast. I couldn't wait to get to write my own and now here I am writing my second round of them and I feel like I just wrote last weeks an hour ago!!

Eats: I was actually able to kind of keep track one day this week and she had about 25 I would say that she is doing great! We are still just using formula but I am actually looking forward to starting solid foods with her.  We waited until Ellie was sitting up on her own and I think we will do the same with Finnley.

Sleeps: nighttime sleep is on point and I'm praying that it stays that way forever and ever...naps on the other hand are not going as smoothly.  I guess that if I had to choose I would prefer her to be the awesome night sleeper.  I think that part of the reason that her naps are all wonky is because we aren't too consistent with our schedule, poor babe will fall asleep in the car just minutes before we arrive home and we aren't too successful at the transfer yet.

Goes: we went on a boat ride, to Vashon Island (ferry ride), to a Thomas the Train event, and Vancouver, BC!! Our little traveler is getting more used to her car seat and is pretty good at going with the flow...though I am having to ride in the back seat sometimes to keep her calm.

Does: smiles, coo's, and has the smallest of "giggles".  She is recognizing us more and more and gets the biggest smile on her face when she see's us and it just melts my heart!! Also she is putting weight on her legs and I'm hoping that means that she'll be ready to keep up with big sis here pretty soon. 

Loves: to sit up with assistance of course...though I am counting down the days until she can do this herself. We also gave her one of those baby blankets with a stuffed animal attached to it and she really likes it a lot.

Of Note: I'm sure there is something but I can't think of anything right now.

Mama: her smiles melt my heart, her cooing and silly sounds are music to my ears and just that I get to do this whole Mama thing over again is a dream come true.  I've been reflecting a lot this week and I am so thankful that I don't have the stress of going back to work and that I just get to be at home with my girls and that I have this opportunity to get to watch them grow. 

Sister: the best!! Ellie just loves having a sister and is now thinking that they should ride in the car seat it's been a bit interesting.  Ellie loves to give hugs and as usual is obsessed with Finnley's head. No weekly sister picture this week because our schedule was just crazy...I was lucky to get one of just Finnley!!

♥ Ashley

previous weeks:

Ellie at 14 weeks

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Show and Tell Tuesday - a home tour

It feels like it's been forever since I've posted photos of our home, but also like it was just yesterday...funny how that works. 

Today I'm linking up with Andrea for her Show and Tell Tuesday series, and today is the Home Tour Edition. If you know me then you know I love to see other people's homes and it just wouldn't be right if I wasn't willing to share mine too!  

And if you are new around here, thanks for stopping by!  I'll give you a little history on our home.  We purchased our home in 2008 several months before I got married (and my mom being old fashioned like she was "forbade" me to move in until after we were being the good daughter she raised, I lived at home for another 7 months)  

We've done a lot of work on our house over the years: front yard overhaul, painted the exterior, painted the interior (a couple of times) and the moldings, new floors, kitchen refresh, new appliances, replaced lighting, enlarged and covered our deck, and fenced the whole property for our animals.

When the house was on the market the front yard was chock full of junipers, like over 20 of them, bark and gravel.  Within two years we pulled them all out, laid grass, planted trees and created some flower beds and just last year we put the cherry on top by painting it a dark grey (instead of peaches and cream).

We also have a vegetable garden in the front, along with some apple trees and blueberry bushes.  The front flower bed is HUGE and it's taken me 6 years to get it filled in, I still have a lot of work to do but I love it so much.

We really lucked out with our house, even though it was built in 1989 it has a great open concept feel to it that I absolutely love.  Our living room has transformed over the years but I really love how it is now.  I just recently painted the wall the fireplace is on and I am not sure why it took me so long.  It used to be green and I loved that too, but I wanted something lighter and more neutral so I painted it the same color as the rest of the walls and it makes the space seem so much larger.  The couch is from Macy's home and the arm chairs I got at Target.  The coffee table is from IKEA.  We actually have a second couch that you can just see the arm of, it was in my moms house.  The other tables in this space were found at antique stores and the TV stand was a Goodwill DIY.

I just love how the new wall color doesn't compete with the furniture, gallery photos, or other accessories.  

My Dad retired last month from over 40 years of practicing medicine as a General Practitioner, but wasn't done providing medical care and is now over in Jordan serving the Syrian Refugees.  It all happened rather quickly but he decided that he is going to sell his home and I was honored to have the chance to grab this Philodendron and bring it into my home.  It's actually a very old plant - it was my mom's and I can remember it being in my childhood home, now it's one of Ellie's favorite things and she insisted on being in the picture with it telling me "I love this so much!"!  It looks spectacular in this spot and seems to be very happy here.  I love having plants in my home and this one is near and dear to my heart!

This past November we finally replaced all the wall to wall carpet in our great room and hallway, along with the linoleum in the kitchen with laminate flooring.  It's held up great and we love this look so much.  I feel like our home is so much cleaner, brighter, and Ellie loves to go "skating" in her socks.

Here is our pantry.  I painted the pantry doors three years ago with Chalkboard paint and I love being able to change up the original artwork as often as I want! Ellie draws on it too and I love it.

Here is our kitchen, it was originally oak colored cabinets with linoleum floors (from 1989) and fairly "dark" to my standards.  So I wanted to lighten up the space by painting them white and it made a huge difference.  We then got a new dishwasher because our vintage one from 89 stopped working and then due to a fluke tea kettle accident (I left it on the stove for too long) we had to replace our oven/range.  This past year we got a killer deal on a fridge that fit into the space like a glove (it barely fits and the guys who brought it in to install were pretty freaked and measured about 5 times).  The next on our list is the microwave - but this one works so well we can't come up with a reason to replace it.  I also just painted the lighting fixture last week.  It was oak colored too and a total still is but much improved. I was hoping that by painting it white it would sort of just blend into the ceiling and I'm kicking myself that I didn't paint it 8 years ago! What was wrong with me??  Oh and we have replaced the light above the sink a couple times too, I am loving this current one.

And how sweet are these four sack towels??  We made a trip to Vashon Island last week and picked these up in the Pharmacy, we are suckers for things with goats on them and so these two just had to come home with us.  I am so glad that Thomas found them and that he insisted we get two of them!  I've trained him well over the years, haha.

And our last stop on the home tour this time around is Finnley's nursery. I am actually not sure if I've shared it on the blog before or not?  But I am just in love with it and it came out better than I imagined.  I was going for a neutral/boho/tribal/bows,arrows, and feathers feel with wood tones and gold/rose gold accents.  I love this room so much (and way more than Ellie's nursery...)  We reused a lot of things from there but my decor style has changed in the past three years and this just fits me.

Mirror, chalkboard Arrow with custom calligraphy, dreamcatcher from Disneyland, feather drawer pulls, tear drop drawer pulls, birdhouses from Michaels, area rug from Target (no longer available), glider (I sanded it down), accent table from HomeGoods, crib,  frames-curtains-sheepskin rug IKEA, changing pad cover

Her closet and behind the shutters is more storage for extra diapers and other similar necessities. 

I am in love with her crib, we used it with Ellie too and it's been great.  The tassel garland is from Target's Valentines decore and I made the mobile after I couldn't find what I was looking for.  I got all the supplies at Michaels and it's one of my favorite things in her room!

Thanks for taking a small tour with me today! I hope you enjoyed taking a peek inside my house.  We still have a few things we would like to complete in out house, like replacing the baseboards with some more detailed white ones (which we currently have in our garage...just have to paint them), switch out the lighting in the bathrooms, new light fixture in our bedroom, new flooring in our bathroom (to get rid of the 1989 linoleum) and then replace the carpets in the bedrooms. I think once we do that and reorganize our laundry room this house will work for us for the foreseeable future!!  I am really hoping to get those baseboards done this summer...

Thanks for stopping by and if you have time feel free to check out more of my blog!!

♥ Ashley

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The Wednesday Weekly - Week 13

Not only is today Finnley's 13th week but it's also her 3rd Monthday!! Hooray!!  This week we were pretty busy just living life that I didn't get too many pictures...I guess that's the way it goes sometimes but we've been enjoying it nonetheless.

Week 13

Eats: I've been trying to keep count of how many bottles our sweet babe is going through a day and I keep forgetting after her 4th bottle...I'm guessing that she's probably taking in about 8 bottles a day with 4 ounces each for a total of 24 ounces a day on the average. We're still using Similac Sensitive formula and our beloved Dr. Browns bottles. She is still spitting up, not quite as much but I'm pretty sure I need to make a trip up to the attic to get down all of Ellie's old bibs. 

Sleeps: we aren't having a consistent nap schedule lately, might have something to do with is being super busy and such.  It doesn't seem to be a problem because she is still a great sleeper at night: from about 8:30pm - 6/6:30 am. Naps go better if she's swaddled but I want her to be able to sleep without it. Finnley girl is still sleeping in the bassinet right next to me in our room. I'm hoping to get her a monitor pretty soon so we can start transitioning her into her room. She is such a good sleeper that I'm so much more comfortable with it (Ellie on the other hand still wakes in the night...)

Goes: this week was pretty busy with Ellie having swimming and gymnastics lessons back to back, hanging out at home and making a trip to the farmers market! Also on Monday we went to look at two houses, neither one is the right fit but we all have a better idea of what "works" for us. 

Does: Finnley can hold her head up during tummy time - for a short amount of time and then once her neck gets tired she hates tummy time. She does the best when we are in Ellie's room. We also got out the Johnny Jump Up, which we rarely used with Ellie because she was so short and her chin didn't meet the top, but Finnley has been doing so great. She can swing herself a bit and get herself turned around, she likes to hold onto things so we give her what it easily accessible: like tampons...girlfriend better get used to those!

Loves: her car seat (she sleeps so well in the car), the Johnny Jump Up, laying around, trying to sit up (with our help), smiling in the morning, and blowing bubbles with her drool. 

Of Note: she is 3 months old today and I  think I will do a tri-monthly update post on her for that. We've been practicing sitting up and she can do it for a nanosecond. She's drooling a lot more and has the sweetest smiles. She is no longer a fan of the bath so we're going to force her to like it, along with getting lotion applied, getting her diaper changed and appreciating tummy time ;)  We also had our first fire of the summer and both girls did very well with them, Finnley slept during most of it - but at this point that comes as no surprise.

Mama: I'm in disbelief that my sweet baby girl is already 3 months old. She's found her voice and now her crying is hitting me to the core and I want to just fix whatever it is so I don't have to hear it. Every time she smiles it melts my heart and I honestly cannot wait for her to get a bit older, more independent and interactive to get to see her relationship and friendship with Ellie blossom and grow! I pray that I can raise both my girls to be the best of friends with each other. 

Sister: oh my word, I had no idea that Ellie could love her sister any more but somehow she can and she does. She wants Finnley to be more interactive with her so she "helps" her to roll over, which results in crying (both girls) and getting in trouble.  But Ellie still exclaims at least 10 times a day that "I love Finnley so much" or "I love my sister so much".  Ellie has also gained some more independence and I love having her in her own gymnastics lessons where I don't have to follow her around!  This week's pictures were so cute it was hard choosing a favorite, I was able to narrow it down to 2 so I'll just leave them both here for y'all.

I really don't have the words to express how much I love being a mom, a girl mom, and a girl mom of two!!!

♥ Ashley

previous weeks:

Ellie at 13 weeks

Monday, July 11, 2016

{Travel Diaries} Puerto Vallarta 2016 (and Ellie's first fight)

Y'all...can you tell it's summer break over here? Thomas has been home for two weeks and us girls are loving having him home with us ALL. Day. Long!!

To kick off Summer Break, we headed to Puerto Vallarta with Thomas' parents and younger brother and his family for his Dad's 60th birthday! Sorry Robert, just announced your age to the world (well the 5 people who read this blog at least).

I'll try to keep the commentary to the minimum (yeah right) but be warned this post will cover all 6 days of our trip - with photos!!

Like most of our trips lately we got the earliest flight out of the airport (5:30am) and the hubs family insists on arriving to the airport 2 hours minimum before take we got there just before 3:30, which meant we had to leave the house around 2:30 in the morning.  We decided to shave 30 minutes from our commute and spend the night at his parents house.  Ellie slept with Nanny and pretty much was awake the whole night.  When I woke up and headed downstairs Ellie was already awake (to my surprise) and was chipper as can be telling me all about the airport and Mexico and I am not sure I've ever seen her that happy/excited in the morning.  

We were able to pack all of our stuff into TWO carry on suitcases!!! We also brought a backpack and our diaper bag ... not too bad for a family of four (and a two month old!!) The rest of the crew brought a ton of luggage and had to check most of it!! I was quite proud of us for being so minimal with our packing...and we didn't even wear/use all of the clothes and stuff we brought!!! 

This trip we decided to not bring the carseat for Ellie...and that will be the last tune we don't bring it - for a while.  She mastered the seat belt in about 0.5 seconds and moved around a was also super hard for her to get into a comfortable position to fall asleep.  Finnley did really well for her first airplane ride and how young she is.  Flying with two is definitely different than flying with one and we found it works best if Ellie sits in the middle.

We had a layover in Orange County and we considered ditching the family to vacay at Disneyland instead...but then Ellie was so obsessed with her cousin that we couldn't separate them prematurely.

Ellie stayed awake pretty much the entire second leg of our trip, we stopped at a "Mexican Walmart" (that's what our taxi driver called it) to get essentials; like diapers, milk, water shoes (faux crocs) for Ellie, and a few other things.  Then about 10 minutes before we got to the resort Ellie fell asleep - HARD!! We were able to move her into the stroller and she remained passed out for a good 35+ minutes.

After we got settled into our room I got Ellie into a swimsuit (myself too) and took her down to the pool to check it out. They had a big party pool and then a little tiny kiddie pool right next to it, so Ellie and I camped out in there for a bit.  Then some other kids showed up, Ellie shared her pool toy that we brought down with us and they were getting along great.  Not too much longer but a little boy showed up and he splashed Ellie, she didn't like that so she splashed him back, that was too much for him and he slapped her in the face!! She screamed at him and splashed water again and then came running/wading over to me to tell me what I wasn't watching!!  (I was not even 4 feet away) His mom stepped right in and he got in BIG trouble, I told Ellie that it's not nice to retaliate and we need to use our she goes back over to him and gets right in his face and yells "I don't like that!!!!"  Then she went back to playing with the other kids that were nice to her...and the next thing I know that same little boy is pulling another little girls hair!!! It was time to leave so I took Ellie to the beach to check out the sand and the ocean.  She loved it so much, we had a great covered in salty water and sand.  We had been down for a while so I figured we should head up, after we showered off we walked back by the kiddie pool and Ellie insisted on going back in.  I let her stay for another 5 minutes and then we went back up to our room. I didn't bring my phone with me so we didn't get any pictures, but we had some great quality Mama and Ellie time.

 Ellie's cousin is obsessed with a certain kids nursery rhyme video on YouTube (and that one only) it's actually quite comical and the girls had some fun watching it together on the couch. 

Our first morning and breakfast in Mexico, it was already over 80 degrees and I was dying...then someone had the bright idea that we should eat outside! I was a hot mess, Finnley was hot but somehow we survived and had a great meal.

I let Ellie have a sugar packet and she dipped her nose in it...because she is silly like that.

We made our way to the Country Club area of the resort and they had this awesome kids club pool area where it was shallow enough for Ellie to walk around the whole thing and they had some water slides too.  Finnley did what she does best...slept or is is sleep? please correct my grammar!

Ellie had a blast being Miss Independent but kept asking where all her friends were.

Finn's first time in the pool...she was less than impressed...natch

That evening we made our way down to the beach for happy hour, you get two drinks for the price of one and they bring them both out at the same time.  I got a Miami Vice and felt so rushed to drink the first one so the second wouldn't melt.  The rest of the young crew got "Skinny Margaritas" (not the Bethanny Frankle brand) which was basically straight tequila with a squeeze of lime.  We all ordered some fish tacos and were set for the night!! Oh and PS it was still ridiculously hot and all I really wanted to do was dump my frozen drink on my head to cool down!

This is the only picture I got...but seriously how cute?!!

On our second day there we had a beach day and now Ellie's adorable flamingo swimsuit is ruined.  I'm pretty sure that the sand is permanently embedded into the suit  - unless someone has a trick to get it out??  Regardless, girlfriend had the best time!  She loved digging in the sand...but we had to keep reminding her to please stay in the shade.  Thomas took her down to the ocean and they had fun in the water.  Finnley tried to stay cool in the shade and slept on the lounger.

Even though we were on vacation I couldn't skip a weekly update, this one was extra special because the girls got to be in swimsuits and in Mexico for this one!!

We went out to dinner at the Italian restaurant for Rob's birthday and snapped a picture of these cuties.

Rob and his girls! (minus the other two back home...) The food was a tad disappointing but Thomas got the best meal at the table (as per usual). Also I put Finnley into my carrier while we were eating and when I was just about done my belly got really warm....she peed on me and my dress was soaked with pee!!  So I took her to the bathroom to change her and then we were all done with dinner so we headed back up to our room to change...

The next day we headed back to the Country Club to the "water park" as Ellie called it. We brought the little princess blow up boat that Deanna brought and Ellie was in heaven and so was I because I wasn't fearful of her drowning!!!  She loved the boat and it was her preferred mode of water activity.

Riding on the shuttle back to our room for naps...that braid!

That evening we went out to dinner at the best restaurant and when we saw that the cousin was wearing a neon pink striped romper we knew that Finnley had to wear hers!  She was super cooperative with taking the twinning photo...

and through dinner..

I mean, how are you supposed to eat?? ha!

and then back in the room.  We had a Penthouse with three bedrooms, three bathrooms, two dining rooms, a living room, two private decks/terraces, and a private hot tub.  It was perfect for all of us and it had real air it was my favorite ;)

The next day we went back to the beach 

Finnley's Swim Suit

While Finnley slept, Ellie played in the sand and I tried to lay out in the sun to tan...but it was HOT!!

That night we headed off the resort to a restaurant that Thomas parents love to go to.  We had to sit outside, it was hot and humid, they did have fans that "helped" and it wasn't my favorite.  Despite that we had a good time, Finnley was able to lay down on one of the chairs, Ellie was a wild animal and the portion sizes were enough to feed about 25 people!

just outside of the restaurant we were able to snap some family photos...

it was hard to pick a favorite but when I saw one of Ellie holding Finnley's arm I knew it was the winner!

When we got back Ellie was having too much fun with her cousin on the bed that we all had to join in and I got a lot of photos...this one was the best because Ellie was all over the place and I was afraid she was going to send Finn off the bed!!

The following day we made our way to the Water Park again and Ellie wore her new Mexican dress that Nanny got for her.  It was so cute and dyed her armpits green!! haha 

she had fun entertaining her cousin

and the sister love was on all the time.  I don't think I will ever get over Ellie stating "I love my sister so much"!!

I remembered that I packed this super cute navy blue butterfly dress for Finnley, and then when I was looking back at Ellie's first vacay I realized that she wore this dress then too!!! So I had to make sure to put it on Finnley and snap a picture!

Our last day Ellie had some fun laying on the couch with her sis and Finnley seriously already comes up to Ellie's armpits (maybe even higher!!) so she is a pretty tall girl - slow down I have so many of Ellie's clothes for you to still wear!!!

We had a brunch buffet and Ellie enjoyed almost all of it.  She is the master at getting seeds out of watermelon, loves bacon, and did really well without a high chair!

On the way to the airport, Ellie had to make sure that she was still being a big she held on to Finnley's foot nearly the whole time.

meanwhile Finnley was...sleeping...

Family Selfie!

The airport was so hot, they had no a/c in there and Ellie was a bit wild, thankfully she passed out in the plane but again had trouble getting comfortable that she didn't sleep too long...but she sure looked cute!

Once Ellie was up and wanted to visit with Nanny we layed Finnley down in her seat and it was nice to have some extra space ;)

Ellie also found a comfortable spot on Dada to watch some DisneyJr on the airplane wifi

It was a long day for our nugget but she was in good spirits.  We had to wait an abnormally long time for our shuttle to take us to the parking lot we had our car at (because there were 9 of us and a TON of luggage) and we decided to wait at the last pick up spot so every shuttle was already full by the time it got to us!!

DIdn't seem to bother Ellie any.  

And once we finally got to our car and got her strapped in to her car seat...she was passed out!  We had a great time with family, "relaxing" and even though it was ridiculously hot for me it was a blast!

♥ Ashley