Saturday, January 30, 2010

Sleepover with Daddy

Ashley and Jas had a special date...a sleepover on my dad's fishing boat.  Ashley was SO excited.  Actually, she was SOOOOOOOOO excited!  She talked about it for DAYS before and after their date night.  She got to go grocery shopping with Daddy to pick out some food to eat on the boat, then they played games and watched movies while eating popcorn.  In the morning they had a pancake breakfast on the boat and then headed out for a little boat ride.  As you can see, she thought she hit the jackpot.  There's nothing she loves more than special time with her Dad and I think she has the boating bug like mom and dad.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Trip to the REAL Snow

One of Ashley's Birthday gifts was a BIG surprise...we took her to the mountains to play in the snow.  The night before we left I checked the road conditions only to find that just about every mountain was closed because of rock slides, an over abundance of snow or they were already too crowded.  I sat at the computer with a huge knot in my gut trying to figure out how to make this snow day a reality.  Finally, I came up with Mt. Baldy and from what I read online it was all clear to drive up and they weren't even requiring chains.  I was so happy, I figured we would have the whole mountain to ourselves because who goes to Mt. Baldy??  WRONG!!! Apparently everyone goes to Mt. Baldy when all of the other mountains are closed.  We drove all the way out there and right when we started to see evidence that a winter storm had tumbled through the mountain we were stopped by the police and told only people with reservations or residents were allowed up because the mountain was full at 6 am!!!  We drove away and I turned around to see my daughter absolutely heartbroken, something I had never seen before.  You could tell she was trying with all her might to hold back the tears.  Remember that we just drove 90 minutes talking all about how to make snow angels, having snow ball fights and sledding.  Jason and I frantically started thinking of other options and making phone calls for ideas.  We decided to drive towards Wrightwood to see if we could at least find a pile of snow on the side of the road to appease the princess until another time.  We drove, actually, drove is definitely the wrong word, we slowly rolled through a TON of traffic until we finally started to see some snow on the ground.  Ashley instantly wanted to get out of the car but of course Jason and I wanted to press on to find the "perfect snow" for our girl.  We ended up right outside the parking lot to Mountain High and had a blast playing in knee high powder for hours.  We made snow angels, had MANY snow ball fights filled with giggles, we built the cutest little snowman and we rode our sleds down some big hills (while doing this I realized I'm a huge chicken because there were some hills Ashley went down that were too "scary" for me).  The three of us ended up having an amazing time playing like little kids.  We finally decided to leave and  Ashley managed to stay awake for a whole 15 minutes and didn't wake up for nearly 4 hours!  It was a great way to end Ashley's Birthday celebration.  (Sorry there are so many pictures, I had a hard time picking out of the 247 I took!)

Getting Ready for the SNOW!!

Trying to hike through the DEEP snow

So brave going all by herself

A Happy Girl

caught in the act of starting a snowball fight...she had mischief written all over that face!

Ashley's personal chair lift

Mommy pretending to be brave, I screamed like a baby the whole way down

My angel making an angel

Collecting snow for the snowman

Delivering more snow to Dad

Describing just how BIG the snowman was going to be
Snacking on snow while Daddy keeps building...such a good Dad

WOOHOO!  We built a snowman!

Collecting snowman accessories



Daddy throwing a snowball back at Ashley

One last snow snack

Traffic to leave the mountain, I think this is evidence that we love our daughter :-)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A Photo Essay by Ashley

It's been a while since I've dumped all the pictures off our cameras because our computer's memory was at it's limits.  Funny, because when we got our computer we were told it had a crazy amount of memory and it would be nearly impossible to fill.  I guess they forgot they were talking to a mom that takes as many pictures as the paparazzi.  So, I finally tackled this task and when I was going through the pictures I saw these and they just made me smile.  When we took Ashley to the mountains for her birthday she was getting bored on the drive home so I gave her the camera and told her she could take a few pictures.  I must have been in a snow traffic coma because I don't remember her taking so many pictures (about 100) but they are all pictures of her little world and the things she sees so I thought I would share.


Looking at Dad in the tiny mirror

                                       I'd be bored if I had to stare at that for the whole drive too.
This just made my heart melt.  I think it's so funny that she was sitting like this but the fact that she took a picture makes me crack up.  I love her!
                                                   The world's best elevator button pusher!
                                                  A girl with some seriously sleepy eyes.
                                        Her view when she looks down, again, not so exciting :-(
                                                     Watching the world pass by.
 I probably get asked a few times a week why this is here.  We don't do much dry cleaning so she hasn't seen it used the way most people do.  She thinks it would be a great place to hang toys so she could make her own mobile.

                            The door handle, such a treat when mom lets her open the door all by herself.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Happy 4th Birthday Ashley Nicole!

Today was Ashley's 4th Birthday.  Did I really just say FOURTH??  Gulp, make that a Double Gulp.  I can't believe how fast time has passed over these four years.  Last night I sat in bed thinking about all the feelings I felt as we drove to the hospital to start my induction at midnight.  In some ways I was so excited and another part of me just wanted to say "redo!" and have Jason turn the car around and return to the safety of a life I knew and was comfortable with.  Well, I'm so thankful there was no real option to call a "redo".  These last four years I have been beyond blessed by the presence of our daughter.  As a new mom there were some things I knew were going to be fun and I looked forward to them, but again, as a new mom there was a whole world of things I didn't know about that were going to be so magical and special.  I remember staring at my angel in the hospital on the night of her birth in complete disbelief that this beautiful package of a person was mine...for good.  I wondered how I got so lucky to be her mommy and I vowed to do my very best.  The idea of having your first child is an exciting thing but you really have no idea how exciting, adventurous, fulfilling, rewarding, surprising and miraculous the journey will be until you actually experience it.  I always wanted to be a mother, I couldn't imagine a future without having children.  I thought I knew motherhood would be wonderful but Ashley has taught me that it is nothing short of amazing. 

Ashley, I have loved every millisecond I have spent as your mom.  You have blessed my life with thousands of hugs, kisses, loving words and giggles.  You have loved me for me, accepted my flaws just as they are and even despite my bad days you have always reminded me that you love me.  I have enjoyed watching you grow up (ok, I lied, a tiny piece of me has downright disliked watching you grow up, that piece of me wants you to always be the baby that curls up in my arms).  I have loved watching your personality blossom and listening to you explain the way you see the world.

Over the last four years you have blessed our family with rich memories and happy times, here are some of my favorite...

-When you were 6-12 months old, you would wake up when Daddy left for work.  I would bring you in bed with me and we would get another 20-30 minutes of rest and snuggles together.  You ALWAYS woke up first and would roll over and start climbing over my face.  You always reached for my face so I started to teach you where my nose was.  After a few weeks of "practice" you figured it out and I was so proud.  I love thinking back to the days when you would wake me up by grabbing on to my nose. 

-When you were new to the talking world you used to reach your arms out to me and say, "Hold you".    You learned it from me asking, "Do you want me to hold you?"  I loved hearing those sweet little words.

-Watching you explore the world from 1-2 years old.  I remember watching you open the pantry door, seriously checking out your options and then lightly pulling on a HUGE bag of pretzels which lead to what looked like 5 pounds of pretzels on the floor.  Instead of freaking out about the mess you just plopped down and started to have your own little snack time.  It was so funny to watch.

-For 2 years I tried to get you to finger paint, but you wanted nothing to do with it because of the mess.  Finally, I convinced you it would be so fun and you agreed.  I laughed so hard that day as you barely took the tip of your pointer finger and dipped it in the paint.  When I explained that you were supposed to get the paint ALL OVER your hands you looked at me with horror but decided to go along with what I said.  As I painted your hands you cringed and had to look away because it was messy.  That finger painting lasted almost an hour and you didn't let your hands get completely covered with paint until the last 10 minutes.  I laughed so hard that day and I will always love your clean and tidy ways :-)

-Your first trip to Disneyland for your second birthday was magical...end of story.  It was one of those days when the three of us REALLY felt like a family and we smiled and laughed the entire day.  I had so much fun watching you meet all of the characters from your favorite cartoons. 

-Watching you surf with your daddy always makes my heart flutter.  I know both of you are exactly where you want to be and are having so much fun. 

-celebrating holidays with you reminds me of all the reasons I loved each holiday as a kid.  You have brought that holiday spirit back to life for me.

-Getting our nails done together for the first time.  I watched you the entire time as you crossed your legs like a lady and were so proud of your polished digits.  I love sharing girly time with you and I love it even more because you love to share that time with me.  Some of my favorite "girl trips" are when you and I sneak away to the grocery store or park all by ourselves.

-Watching you become a sister has been AMAZING!  Watching you love on and comfort your brother makes my heart so happy.  You are a wonderful sister and I am so proud of you.

You are my angel Ashley.  I love you to the moon and back and I can't wait to spend another year with my favorite girl.

I hope you had a wonderful birthday today and know how much Daddy, Colin, Hauser and I love you.
A big Hug and a Kiss,