Friday, October 19, 2012

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Uncle James cereal

This is for my sister...

Every morning I wake up to a quiet voice by my head asking...

"Uncle James cereal?"

It's pronounced Jay-mess, which is short for her Uncle Jameson.

THIS is Uncle James cereal.

While visiting her Uncle James, Tiffany was exposed to her first bowl of Lucky Charms. Since then, it is the ONLY cereal she will eat. She'd rather skip breakfast that eat a different kind of cereal. And, if I don't get out of bed immediately to get her Uncle James cereal, then I have to deal with a major meltdown.

Since Tiffany is the only one that eats marshmallows for breakfast... This is the cereal that I buy. She found it herself at the grocery store right after we got back from visiting Uncle James. Tiffany had grabbed it off the shelf herself, walked up to me and asked, "Buy Uncle James cereal?" I couldn't refuse.

Of course, this isn't the only time I hear the words "Uncle James" come out of Tiffany's mouth. There's Uncle James:
-and then her toddler ramblings I don't understand include a random "Uncle James."

She sure loves her Uncle James.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Addie Kay Ashby

Birth story and a few pictures.

On Monday, March 14th, I posted this on facebook:

"I told my husband I'd wait until Monday to have a baby so he could finish his lectures, paper and start his March madness picks contest. I am hoping that since I was so kind to wait until today that my wish would be granted. Only one week left today."

Some might argue that the picks contest was the most important task on his Spring Break to-do list.

My wish came true! Addie Kay Ashby was born at 8:43 p.m. on Monday, March 14th.

My contractions started sometime around 11 a.m. on Monday. I was working on a baby project and was down on the ground cutting material when the contractions started. I figured they were labor induced and would go away once I stopped working. They weren't that painful and I decided to work through them to finish my project. I didn't even mention them to Blake who was sitting on the couch working at the time.

After resting a bit, and having the contractions get closer, I decided that this was the real thing. I quickly made some mac-n-cheese and put on some make-up. Around 1:30 p.m. my contractions were 8-10 minutes apart and I decided to call my OB office. I hadn't progressed any from my appointment 4 days prior and was still 3 cm dilated and 100% effaced. My OB told me I didn't look like I was in enough pain and told me to go home since I wasn't in active labor yet.

We thought about going to the hospital anyways, but eventually decided it would be better to just go home now then to be sent home later. I was told to head to the hospital when my contractions were at least 8 minutes apart. We get home and my contractions completely stopped. Then about an hour later they started again and were consistently 9 minutes apart. Over an hour later, around 5:00 p.m. I had one contraction at 6 minutes and then they jumped down to being 3 minutes apart. We decided that NOW was the time to head to the hospital. We arrived at the hospital shortly after 6:00 p.m.

We get there and I am STILL 3 cm dilated and 100% effaced. I was in so much pain that was the last thing I wanted to hear. I was so irritated at this point and just wanted my epidural so that my pain would go away. To add to my frustration, EVERYONE in hospital insisted on talking to me. Nurse #1 asked me 100 questions, nurse #2 asked me the SAME questions, the hospital on-call doc with her med student asked me the SAME questions, the med student on her own asked me the SAME questions and my OB asked me the SAME questions. Do they not talk to each other? I was so annoyed and in so much pain at that point.

My nurse did do her best to work as fast as possible so I could get the epidural I wanted. Around 8:15 p.m. I was finally ready to get the epidural, but suddenly felt the need to start pushing. My nurse checked me and told the anesthesiologist to hurry. While getting the epidural my leg went completely numb and I thought it was starting to take effect. I mentioned how good it felt and I guess the anesthesiologist got this terrified look on her face. Apparently, I had not yet received the epidural but she had hit a nerve while inserting it. I hated having to stay perfectly still while having this overwhelming urge to push. I DID NOT want to deliver a baby without it. I got the epidural at 8:30 p.m., my water broke on it's own at 8:32 p.m., Addie Kay Ashby arrived at 8:43 p.m. and the epidural took effect at 8:45 p.m. I got the epidural but still had to deliver a baby without any pain medication.

What I learned during labor:

1. I have no patience for EVERYONE talking to me while I am in labor.
2. I have an awesome husband that allowed me to forcefully rub his hand during every contraction for almost 2 hours straight.
3. I never want to deliver without an epidural ever again.
4. I have heard of "the woman next door" screaming during her labor and I am officially the woman next door.
5. After it was finally over, the pain didn't seem so bad. Even minutes after the delivery I completely forgot how much pain I was in because Addie was perfect in every way. I still don't want to do it without an epidural.

Now for some pictures.

This is the only belly picture of me. We took this right before I went to the OB office.

Many hours later, in the hospital, when I was still happy.

The proud daddy.

Me with Addie. I look pretty darn good considering what I just went through.

Tiffany and her little sister.

Tiffany started giving her kisses without us telling her she should.

Addie in her going home outfit.

Mommy Daughters time at home.

The following day.This girl sure loves to cuddle and would rather sleep with me than anywhere else.

Daddy Daughter Time

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Like Mother, Like Daughter

While we were in AZ we took Tiffany to the Wildlife World Zoo.

One place we stopped was at the flamingo habitat.

If you can tell, most of the flamingos have their heads turned the same direction. While we were there the flamingos were making a funny noise and turning their heads back and forth to the rhythm.

Tiffany commented that the flamingos were singing a song. Not wanting to feel left out, Tiffany started to conduct the flamingos in their beautiful (some what annoying) song.

I'm starting to wonder if Tiffany is going to follow in my musical footsteps. Tiffany LOVES music. She always gets quiet at church during a musical number at church, she loves to dance to the radio, and any word I say can be turned into her favorite song.

After I posted this and was checking to make sure it looked good...Tiffany came up to me and said, "Sing song, Sing song." She even remembers now a few days later that the flamingos were singing.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Life in Michigan

Sorry for the picture overload. I wanted to just include everything in one post. Front View:
Our current home. We are very happy that we could find a place to live, that we like, and for a good price right away. (I stole these photos from a leasing company that is leasing a similar duplex across the street.) If this was ours, then our home would be on the right.


I fell in love with the large kitchen. I was thinking the other day how great it was to have room for 3 junk drawers. Then I wondered why we even have enough junk to fill 3 drawers.

Master Bath:

Grand Rapids Children's Museum

We spent our first official day in GR, after we found a home, at the children's museum. Tiffany loved all the exhibits.

The Curious George Exhibit.

Camping at Newaygo State Park.

Right before Blake started teaching classes we decided to go on a camping trip. We found a place a couple hours north of us right on a small lake. This is Tiffany roasting her hot dog for dinner the first night. She had helped dad roast them earlier and was now roasting hers. Tiffany didn't get to bed until almost midnight this first night.

Day Two:

We brought our bikes with us and went on a ride our first morning there. We came across a great slide for Tiffany.

There were free kayak lessons at the beach by our campsite. We showed up just in time to take a few kayaks out. We loved it. We then blew up our portable raft and went out onto the lake for a while after the kayaks.

Tiffany didn't get a nap that day and fell asleep eating cheetos while we were fixing dinner.

Being the cute Tiffany that we love. This is her posing for the camera.

Roasting Marsh-mellows

Tiffany enjoying hers.

Lake Michigan:

We were able to visit Lake Michigan twice while the weather was nice. Our first visit we spent our entire time in the water. These photos are from our second visit to the lake. When we arrived we learned that it was unsafe to swim in the water so we spent the day in the sand making this lovely fellow.

Niagara Falls:

For Labor Day Weekend we went to Canada. It was only an 8 hour drive to Niagara Falls and decided it would be worth the trip. This is Tiffany experiencing her first fireworks. We also like viewing the falls at night with them all lit up. If you're ever visiting...It is best to go to the Canadian side. You can view both set of falls at the same time. On the American side you can only see the water before it goes over the falls.

Maid of the Mist:
Tiffany looked cute in her little poncho. She wasn't so fond of the hood until the water started pouring down and then we couldn't get it off of her.



The American Falls.

The Canadian Falls: The larger of the two falls and the one responsible for soaking us.

Up close

American Falls again

After picture

We were soaked. I ended up drying our jackets in the Wendy's bathroom with a hand dryer.

Tiffany's Free Entertainment:

We didn't spend a dime at this arcade and Tiffany had a blast!!! Tom and Jerry

Bert and Ernie

Racing Jet Ski game.

Free ducks! I didn't follow Tiffany out but I guess there was a lot of bird poop out there.

Art Prize:

Grand Rapids is host to the world's largest outdoor art fair in the world. We spent a day walking around downtown. This isn't really part of Art Prize, but Tiffany really enjoyed it.

The only picture of art we got. It's a man with a garden full of gnomes made out of bird seed. It was pretty awesome. Some of our favorites: Mermaid made completely out of toothpicks A large penny made out of a pennies.

Orchard Hill Farms

There is a farm 1/4 mile down the street from us. This visit to the farm included a hayride, a petting zoo and a walk through the forest.

The forest.

Trunk or Treat:

Tiffany loved to play with her basketball Halloween costume from a couple of years ago. We decided to repeat her costume and let her wear the basketball again for our ward's trunk or treat. I think she turn out pretty darn cute. Tiffany also dressed up as Dorothy again for the Preschool Halloween party and the basketball again to trick or treat on Saturday with a friend.

We have definitely had fun in Michigan these past 4 months.
Blake really enjoys his job teaching at Grand Valley State University. It keeps him busy all day at work and he'll spend a couple hours every night grading homework. It's been a good change and feel very blessed to be here.

I've been keeping myself busy with Tiffany. We fill our weeks with a trip to the library most Mondays and preschool on Thursdays. We also spend a lot of time outside playing with our neighbors. We are lucky to have families on both sides of us with kids near Tiffany's age. They're mostly boys but she loves it.

We really like our ward. The first week we went to church here Blake told the Bishop that his favorite calling was teaching Gospel Doctrine. That same night the Bishop received a call informing him that the current Gospel Doctrine teacher has been called to the High Council. Blake was called to teach the following Sunday. I've been called as the RS 2nd Counselor. It's been fun planning our activities and really getting to know the sisters in the ward.
We are expecting a little GIRL to join our family around March 21st. Everything is going well and I've really enjoyed this pregnancy.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Tiffany LOVES to color

This picture was taken in November 2009.

It is very common in our house to have crayons and coloring books laying all over the house. One of Tiffany's favorite activities is to color. From day one, she's been very picky about how coloring perfectly. If she doesn't color in the lines she gets angry with herself. The day this photo was taken I taught her how to color in a swirl instead of doing back and forth straight lines. Later in the day, we were watching a football game, we look down and Tiffany was color the picture shown above. We were completely amazed at her ability to stay in the lines! She also stick with one color for the body and a different color for the jewelry.

Sadly Tiffany has not repeated this, but it's still great that she could do it.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

"You're too young for me"

After 3 years of marriage, (Dec. 16th) Blake still tells me, "You're too young for me." I try to convince him that I'm the perfect age for him because he married me and if I was too young then we wouldn't be married.

I remember the first time I saw Blake. It was at a friend's birthday party in September of 2005. He was new to the area and the girl he just went on a date with was introducing him to the people at the party. He was wearing his red Stanford baseball cap with his orange and red plaid shirt. I remember thinking that he was cute and was secretly sad that I never got to talk to him that night. We've now realized that if we did meet that night and talk, that we would have never pursued a relationship.

The musical was the only way Blake and I could get to know each other and develop a friendship. We were forced to spend 3 days a week for 3 months together and about half way through the musical we started to realize that our feelings were more than just friendship. It is not normal for people with our age difference to be together, so I started to avoid Blake in order to avoid my feelings for him. I couldn't completely avoid him because we were in almost all of the same scenes together and always standing next to each other in those scenes. There was a time on stage that we were holding hands and I remember my feelings for him being so strong that I actually let go of his hand. It wasn't normal to feel the way I did for an older man so I let go because I thought he'd think I was some crazy teenager with a silly little crush. Another time we were back stage and Blake twirled me around and made me do a little dip. I remember looking at him and realizing that our feelings for each other was mutual. We both felt it.

We started dating on May 4, 2006 and were married on December 16, 2006. It is hard to think of life before Blake. It feels like we have been together forever and every second of it has been wonderful. We've come to realize that because of our age difference we have to be a perfect match for our relationship to work. Most of the time we don't even realize our age difference. Blake is absolutely perfect for each other and I love him dearly.

Blake was a deacon (12) and passing the sacrament before I was born.
I was baptized (8), while Blake was on his mission.
When Blake was old enough to date (16), I had not started Kindergarten yet. I think I finished Kindergarten the year he graduated from HS.
Blake started Grad School the same year I started Middle School.
Blake and I graduated the same year, 2004. He was getting his Phd and I was getting my HS diploma.