Friday, April 20, 2018

Oh FriYAY

Y'all, I'm not quite sure how a whole week has already gone by since my last post but things around here have just been busy and I've been putting my focus elsewhere - obvi.



ONE

We are in full fledged 2 year old territory with our Sweet Finn.  I love her dearly and she's got herself some serious tantrums.  Her vocabulary is growing which makes my Mama heart so happy and she is quite the helper.  She has some strong opinions on what she wears and I don't always get to pick out what she wears - which is uncharted territory for me because Ellie (almost 5) is still so compliant with my choices.  I can tell that Finn is going to continue to give us a run for our money and put into practice some new parenting/child rearing skills.  Her love of Mickey Mouse is strong...but not strong enough to want to get a picture with a bigger than life size mouse at Disneyland, no matter she absolutely loves everything else about Disneyland so we just skip the characters since Ellie isn't too interested anymore.  All that to say that Finn is absolutely perfect and her unwavering attachment to me is special.





TWO

We decided to combine the girls family birthday party this year, and then Ellie is having a separate friend party next month.  Both girls are obsessed with Ariel (Finnley adamantly calls every princess Ariel 😂) so we are going "Under the Sea" for their party.  I'm thinking that combining their family party is a GREAT idea and we can hopefully continue it for years to come.  So far I've filled up my Pinterest Board with ideas but the only thing I've decided on so far is the invitations which were mailed out weeks ago.  I'm planning to go a bit more relaxed on the decor this year because I just don't have the energy to do a whole production.  That doesn't matter though because the purpose of a party is to celebrate the girls and they'll have fun no matter how extravagant the decorations are.



THREE

The sun is finally shining.  We've had rain everyday for practically 3 weeks straight (we skipped out on 5 days of it to go to Disneyland in the 90's and 80's!) but now we have a sunny forecast so all of the PNW is out and about 😉.  I mean 60 and sunny is practically summer weather around here, lol.  We finally got a new mower (ours stopped working in the fall) and our grass no longer looks like a jungle.  So our plans are to continue working outside as much as we can to get our yard prepped for the girls party and life in general.  I made it out to our vegetable garden and spent 2 hours weeding...every year I tell myself I need to be better and winter prepping and then every year I drop the ball.  Except I was given a great idea yesterday that I'm hoping I'll remember and put into action this go around.  I am going to get some burlap to cover the garden beds for the winter to prevent the weeds from germinating and growing.  Anyways, each year I kind of switch up how the garden is laid out and this year is no different.  Several years ago we were given some "planting boxes" that have just been piled up and I decided to put them to use this year.  Between the boxes I'm going to lay down some cardboard, Thank You Amazon, to help suppress the weeds during the growing months as well.  It's going to be a much smaller garden this year but I think that will be just fine.

FOUR

Ellie is becoming quite the best little person.  She is a great helper, loves her sister and is just all around perfection.  It's been so fun watching her grow and learn this year and I am amazed at all she can retain.  My favorites have been watching her people drawing skills improve.  She is very much into school and loves to do her self imposed "homework".  She is constantly writing her name on everything and likes to make "mail" to send to all of her favorite people.  Ellie is becoming much more independent and adventurous with activities and I love that she is able to do them on her own without much parental involvement.  Her obsession with Baby Brother is so adorable and the tenderness that is in her heart melts me to the core.  As I mentioned above she is compliant and very helpful when it comes to picking up the house so I can perform my obsession of vacuuming.  She also is the funniest girl and her sense of humor is just the best.  I knew that as these girls got older they would become more fun...I just had no idea how much fun she was going to be.


FIVE

As we are nearing Baby Boy's arrival I have been thinking hard about sleeping arrangements and room decorating.  Baby will be rooming in with us for a little while since I plan on breastfeeding but I still want him to have his own dedicated space, and with a 3 bedroom house that means the girls are going to be moving in together.  Ellie has the larger of the two rooms so that means that we have to figure out how to get both of them to fit in there.  To maximize the floor space, bunk beds seem to be the most obvious of choices so we will probably go that route.  I am thinking that the room isn't going to get too much of an overhaul just basically a clean up of sorts.  Then it needs a new coat of paint, I'll go with the same color and get that done when we switch out the beds.  I also want to remove all the wall decals (I'll probably move them into the Playhouse) and just have a clean slate in there.  Additionally we never replaced the baseboards in Ellie's room when we had the flooring installed so I need to measure out the room and purchase some baseboards and get those installed before we bring all the furniture back in. Phew we've got a lot to do!!

So that means that Little Man's Nursery is going to be in Finnley's current nursery. And I am so in love with Finnley's nursery that I don't think I want to change too much of it.  One thing that has become apparent though is that my childhood dresser just isn't going to cut it anymore.  So I am going to try and sell it and then I have my eye on one from IKEA, it has a bit more drawer space and bigger on top to house the changing pad.  One thing I have to switch out for Little Man is all the floral decor because that's probably not going to cut it.  I still want to keep it fairly neutral but want to incorporate some plaid, specifically the MacPherson Clan tartan, into the space somehow.  Thankfully we have some time before he is going to officially move in but I can't wait to see how it all comes together.

SIX

Speaking of the Playhouse, progress is moving right along.  I plan to finish trimming out the windows and doors this weekend, have Thomas caulk the remaining seams, and then give one last coat of paint all over.  Then we'll stain and install the center ceiling beam and finally we can clear out the entire space, give it a good vacuum, and install the linoleum flooring!!  Once that's finished I'll add in the baseboard and then it can be MOVE IN time for the girls!!  HOORAY!! It still won't be completely done because I have other plans for it still but to make it functional and usable for them is going to be the best!!

I hope y'all have the BEST weekend and if you get to have sunshine...Enjoy!!

♥ Ashley

Friday, April 13, 2018

The Finnley Five

Today my sweet little baby turns TWO!!
TWO!

ONE!

6 months!

 1 week!

0 days!

She is fierce, determined, opinionated, sweet, loving, hilarious, and the best fit for our family.  I honestly cannot imagine our life without her and she makes me smile everyday and want to pull my hair out so that makes her undeniably PERFECT!!  She is a Mama's girl through and through, hates going into childcare but is becoming more adventurous every day.  I love seeing her independence grow and her personality shine through.

Here's some Finnley Facts:

She has been to Disneyland FIVE times for a total of 21 days and multiple seasons: Christmas, Halloween, Star Wars Day, February and Spring Break.

 Christmas 2016

May 2017
 
Halloween 2017
 Halloween 2017
February 2018
February 2018
April 2018
April 2018



She has been to multiple countries: Mexico, Canada, Denmark, Norway, Germany, Estonia, Russia, Finland, and Sweden.  She has totally rocked flying and only had a couple of meltdowns on all of the flights.


Canada



Denmark
 Norway

 Germany

 Germany

 Finland

 Finland

 Sweden

 Baltic Sea






 Denmark

Tivoli Gardens, Denmark

 

She adores Moana and Ariel and loves to sing and dance. She has celebrated 2 Easters in her second year of life...thanks to an April birthday and wandering Easter Calendar.


First Easter 2017
 Second Easter 2018
 Second Easter 2018




She is 36 inches tall and weighs 5lbs less than Ellie.  That's a total of 5.5" in a year!!




She loves to eat gummy bears, biscoff cookies, mac'n'cheese, applesauce, graham crackers, bread, pizza, chips, and spaghetti.

Happy Birthday to my Sweet Finnley!! I sure do love you so! 

♥ Ashley


Monday, April 2, 2018

The Monthly Bumpdate - weeks 21-24

I can't believe that we're into April already! Last month I celebrated my birthday, attended my first Centering appointment (basically a group OB), and got ready for Easter!  I also got a super bad cough for about 8 days that made life quite challenging, but with some approved cough medicine I was able to get by the best I could considering. The weeks are just flying by and we're getting closer and closer to meeting our little man.






How far along: 24 weeks and 3 days

Size of baby: an ear of corn

Weight gain: close to 15 lbs, I am back to my pre-weight loss weight (June 2016) so I'm feeling pretty good about it.

Sleep: mostly pretty good, and I got a pregnancy pillow that is divine!  I am having super vivid dreams (which isn't too uncommon) so that's kind of fun.  A few sleepless/restless nights aside from my week long cough.

Cravings:  I dreamed I had a turkey sandwich and it was glorious.  Other than that all the meats, spicy foods, and some desserts here and there.

Miss anything: sandwiches and kombucha.

Movement: YES!!! It's so fun and so strange at the same time but also very reassuring.

Gender: Little Man on the way.

Wedding rings on/off: On and fitting like usual.

Happy or Moody: Mostly happy with some random moody thrown in...mostly when I'm stressed out (but seriously how abnormal is that anyways?)

Looking forward to: DISNEYLAND!! and my next centering appointment to hear sweet boys heartbeat again!!  I'm also looking forward to Spring and all the flowers and outside beauty it brings!!

Purchases: YES!  Zulily is a bad habit and I've found myself adding clothes to my bag much too frequently but little man is going to be just as fashionable as his sisters and no one can really argue with that.  As mentioned above I got a pregnancy pillow, and then some more maternity items.  My MIL gave me a gift card to Pink Blush for my birthday so I got a robe and a couple pairs of jams that are all incredibly soft.

Next appointment: on the 18th...and I have to take my glucose test, so that should be fun 😜

♥ Ashley

previous Bumpdates
December (includes IVF details)
January
February
March

Monday, March 26, 2018

Cruising with Kids (part 2) - Oslo, Norway

These posts are taking a bit longer to get up than I had planned.  To see part 1 where I talked about our flights, day in Copenhagan and getting onto our boat here.


Our first port was in Oslo, Norway.  We were still pretty exhausted by the time change but rallied through as best we could.  We had decided on going on a Walking Tour of the city and it was so great to get to learn more about Oslo and Norway in general.





Pulling into port and getting to see all the Fjords was pretty cool.  We had our breakfast on the boat and I was so excited to see some black pudding in the buffet (I've been dreaming of it since our Scotland/Ireland trip back in 2014).  Unfortunately it was overcooked and a bit dry...big disappointment.


Then we got organized and met up with our walking tour group.  Our first stop was at the old Castle/Fort and it's just incredible how these European cities preserve their old buildings.

Dad of the year pushing the girls around in the stroller on very uneven ground - hard work!!

 One cool tidbit we learned was about the architecture in the city.  When a majority of the buildings were erected they were only 2-3 stories tall, then when the owners got more money or it changed owndership and they wanted to add more levels they just added them to the roof, which seems normal enough except they built the additions to go with the style of architecture of the day.  So when you're walking around the city you'll notice a big difference in the style of the buildings as your eye looks towards the top.
 



We happened upon their farmers market which has been meeting in the garden square for 100's of years.



Ever the plant lady I am, I was most fascinated with their florals and plantings.  Not pictured but of note, Finnley did well about half of the time in the stroller.  I then had to pull out the Ergo and do some wearing with her to keep her calm.  We did come fully prepared with snacks and drinks to keep the girls happy as we walked around the city.  For the most part they were both pretty compliant and we did have Ellie in a pull up as we were unsure what the bathroom breaks would be like.

The Palace right at the end of "Main Street".  There was no barricade, you could just walk right up to it.


Off to the museum.  There is great significance about this clock...but I can't remember what it was, just that I should take a picture of it.

And this girl was wiped out. She was such a trooper and did the best she could but in the end she just couldn't hang so we told our tour guide we were out and started heading back to the boat.


Ellie woke up on the way to the boat just as we were happening past a toy store so we popped in and I was in love with all the Pippi Longstocking items.  I loved her growing up and it was so fun to see that she is still relevant.  The girls had a blast running around the toy store and checking out all the Norwegian toys.  I tried to find a cute book but none of them were in English so I had to pass on that opportunity.  Once we were done in the toy store we walked through their "Food Festival" they were having but the only offerings were Indian and Asian and as much as I love those foods they weren't native Norwegian so we passed and decided to just eat on the boat.  I'm so sad because I really wanted to indulge is some food from Norway.

Beautiful views from our boat.


Rooftop pool (that was freezing) and jumbo movie screen.


We met my dad for dinner and Ellie was still all sorts of tired...so she did this for dinner.  It reminded me of the stories my mom told me from my first trip to Europe when I was in Kindergarten that I never made it to dinner and always fell asleep at the table before our food came! So I guess I can say Like Mother Like Daughter 😍

And that was the end of our first port day.  All in all I would say it was a fantastic start to our trip, and since we only chose to go on a 3 hour excursion it was perfect for helping us continue to adjust to the time difference.

♥ Ashley