Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Anniversary #3: A Year of Lessons in Patience & Dreams To Come True

The day of our third wedding anniversary has arrived very much like a strong gust of a wind, and it feel like it is only yesterday that we had celebrated our second anniversary. A lot had happened since.

Soon, we will be rejoicing the day we became a couple in October, and that rings in 10 years of being together. It is not so hard to believe that ten years has flown by, along with our three years of marriage, because we have been blessed to have a strong foundation as a couple. It truly does signify the meaning behind the saying, "Time Flies". 

Our third year of anniversary rang in with a year long of learned lessons that brought us patience, understanding, and humility. Our second year of parenthood forced us to become introspective of ourselves. There had been challenging days as parents. There had been days when we wondered if we had done enough. There had been days when we reviewed our day, and wished we had done differently. With those days, there had also been wonderful days when we went to bed with a sense of accomplishment. Being parents strengthened our marriage in so many ways. 

When we first learned that Forrest had a peanut allergy, it was crushing, and difficult to deal with, because we thought of only bad things that came with having a food allergy. We saw only restriction, rejection, misunderstanding, and fears. Fortunately, that frame of thinking only lasted briefly. We changed how we viewed Forrest's food allergy, and decided to turn it into something positive that will eventually shape Forrest's character. It was not very much different from me being Deaf; having this disability, if you want to call it that way, definitely made me into a stronger person that I am today. It was going exactly be the same way for Forrest with his peanut allergy. 

Forrest had taught us a lot of lessons, especially with patience, and humility: when one of us felt our patience running out, due to Forrest's shenanigans, we took a step back, and asked ourselves why we were feeling that way. We were looking at the situations from an adult point of view rather than from a toddler's perspective. In a way, that helped us, especially me, not to make little things to be such big deal. That also applied to our marriage. We had to be patient with each other when something had come up with Stu's work, or graduate school, or with parenting Forrest. 

There had been many moments in the past year when I had to be patient with Stuart, in order for him to accomplish what he needed to do for graduate school. There were a lot of sacrifices made by everybody involved. We didn't always get what we wanted, or needed, but we knew that it was going to pay off. With a lot of hard work, and time; Stuart finally walked across the stage with a Masters in Education, and Administration in his hand. It was a proud moment in our family. All of his hard work had paid off.  

It was not just Forrest, and Stuart that taught us patience, but also, our new baby on the way redefined how we viewed patience. With Forrest, I had a very easy pregnancy for the most part, and did not experience any morning sickness. However, with this baby, I was quite sick often especially so in the very beginning, and poor husband of mine had to deal with my crazy emotional swings. Stuart struggled with this a lot, because it was something he was not used to. He often told me how much he had missed our date nights of watching Dexter on Netflix, because I was often in the bed by 7:30 pm, and asleep by 8:00 pm. He had missed my calm demeanor, instead of me bursting in tears over a silly thing, and being snappy toward Stuart. Like I said, poor husband of mine. This caused some fiction in our marriage, until I explained to Stuart that this was only temporary, and icky part was almost done. All he had to do was to be patient. Once he understood the importance of patience, things became easier, and sure enough, the icky part of my pregnancy was over. Before he knew it, we were back to eating popcorn during our movie date night.

Happy 3rd anniversary

Ashley & Stu,

By now you've enjoyed 3 beautiful years of married bliss. Many of your dreams have come true by now, and it is wonderful to see how happy you are, and still so much in love. Your life together is an inspiration to everyone who knows you. 
Love you both. 

Aunt Kathy, & Uncle Wayne

Dreams are beginning to unfold for us with our growing family; Stu's job change to advance his career as a principal, and finally to buy a house. Soon, we will be going from a family of three to four with a mix of our crazy brood of pets. No matter what happens, we know that we will always stay together as a family, and watch our dreams unfold as time goes by. 

Monday, June 23, 2014


How Far Along: 17 weeks, and 3 days.

I Am Feeling: A bit stressed. Excited. Sad. A lot of emotions all at once! Wacky pregnancy hormones are making everything more intense as it seems. I'll explain more in a bit.

Weekly Milestone Growth: Jellybean has doubled in his/her weight, and is roughly about the size of an onion. The umbilical cord is becoming thicker, and stronger as Jellybean's rubbery bones become harder. This is a crucial time to make sure I eat plenty of cheese, and yogurt to help calcium deposits to build up in Jellybean's bones. Jellybean's skin is still translucent, which means the veins are transparent, and can be seen through his/her skin. The fingerprints are forming its unique prints! Jellybean's primary teeth are developing inside the gums, and drinking a little fluoride will help to harden the enamels for the teeth. In a few weeks, if I want to know the sex, then I will be able to identify if Jellybean is a boy, or a girl through an ultrasound. We prefer not to know, and Jellybean's gender will remain unknown until birth! 

Movements: Jellybean likes to make himself/herself known when Forrest is pressing against my belly. Then there's a little pop from the inside. Sometimes, Jellybean will roll around as well. It's a really cool feeling. It's one of the favorite things to experience while I am pregnant. 

Cravings: I really don't have any at this point other than an occasional nibble of something sweet. 

Aversions: Same old. Same old. Nothing new. 

What I Miss the Most: Having that happy medium, feeling rested, and being able to breath. 

Best Moments of the Week: I finally felt Jellybean's heart rate on the doppler at the appointment last Monday for the first time. Forrest got to hear the heartbeat, too, and he was a bit perplexed by it! It was really great to FINALLY feel the heartbeat, and it was a cool feeling. Jellybean's heart rate was at 150-155. It was cool.

Now, here's an exciting news that we want to share: Stu got a job as an assistant principal!!! He had a bunch of interviews for about a month, and half. Then he finally landed a job after applying for 40-something positions all over the place for past year-ish. We were really excited for him, and for us. 

However, that means a few things: he is starting his new job on July 1st, and because of the distance, he decided to stay with his brother during the week, and be home on the weekends. Because of this, I have to play a single mom for about a month while we house-hunt for a new place to move in. I have to pack up a lot of things on my own with a toddler running amok, and while being pregnant, that does not sound so exciting to me, ha ha! Fortunately, I have a few great people willing to step up, and help. Thank goodness for wonderful friends, and family, right? 

Here's the bittersweet part...we are going to leave Ripon, and that is a really sad thought for both of us. We love it here; there are a lot of GREAT memories with this community, wonderful people, and beautiful scenery. We will be moving a bit further from my family, which is a bit tough, and one good things about being a stay at home mom is flexibility in my schedule to visit my family as often as I like. It just won't be easy to leave here as much as we are excited to be moving back to Green Bay, and being close to our friends again, especially to my OB-GYN doctor! I love her so much that I refuse to give her up even when we moved to Ripon. So now, my desire for a natural birth is becoming more real with us being closer to Bellin Hospital (where I plan on delivering Jellybean--it's the same place I delivered Forrest). It's just a really bittersweet situation with a lot of feelings involved of excitement, and sadness.

People had fun guessing the gender of this baby. Some people think I am having a girl, and some others think I'm having a boy based on 150 heartrate, how I am carrying, and what I have been craving for these days. I definitely do notice more people are touching my belly with this pregnancy than with Forrest! I am not sure why? I don't mind though! 

Looking Forward To: My ultrasound appointment in 3 weeks! I am just so excited about seeing Jellybean again. Usually, this ultrasound is when you find out your baby's gender. However, we choose not to know Jellybean's gender, and won't be finding out. I'm just excited to see Jellybean's face, and see how Jellybean is doing. Our 3-year anniversary is tomorrow! It is kind of crazy to think that by tomorrow, we will be married for 3 years, and then this fall, it will be 10 years for us of being together. Time do fly. 

Monday, June 16, 2014


Excuse my cavewoman hair! 

How Far Along: 16 weeks and 3 days. Only a month until half way mark! It is crazy how fast this pregnancy is flying by for me. 

I am Feeling: I am waiting for this pregnancy to fully sink in. It has not all way yet. It has not hit me that I will be a mom of two this come late November/early December! I think once we start setting up the nursery, buy things for Jellybean, and feel Jellybean move more consistently, it will be more real? 

Weekly Milestone Growth: Jellybean is as big as an avocado. Jellybean's eyes are able to move sideways now, despite having a sealed cover protecting Jellybean's eyes, and Jellybean is practicing lip movements this week. Jellybean is practicing breathing by hiccuping, and swallowing amniotic fluid. The umbilical cord has become a plaything for Jellybean to grip on. Eyelashes, eyebrows, and hair are beginning to grow at this point. 

Movement: I'm starting to feel stronger movements from Jellybean. If I have Forrest pressing against my belly, then Jellybean will actually bounce back as if Jellybean is saying, stop laying on me! Do I foresee a sibling rivalry starting already? Tee-Hee. 

Cravings: I don't have any lately that jumps out to me, and says EAT ME. At this point, if I am hungry, then you better feed me or I will just turn into a cranky monster.

Aversions: The most interesting thing I have learned recently is that I can't handle the smell of freshly bleached white shirts! After a minute or two of wearing a white tank top, or shirt, I end up having to put it away, or wash it again with regular detergent. I do remember having this similar issue when I was pregnant with Forrest. Everything is starting to smell much stronger. I can smell things that Stu does not even notice, and I will point it out to him that something smells funky, and he will be like...I am not sure what you are talking about, because I smell nothing. 

What I Miss the Most: Feeling really rested. I go from feeling very energetic to being exhausted. There is no happy medium. I'm always on go, and this pregnancy is definitely different than the one I had with Forrest. I'm rarely rested all way, and that is okay with me. I like having a happy chaos in our lives though. 

Best Moments of the Week: Teri's wedding was a wonderful time for me to catch up with great friends. Monis, the groom, surprised Teri (the bride) with a song during vows exchange-that made me tear up, and he sang beautifully. Forrest bursting into a biggest smile I've seen in his entire little life, and giving me a BIGGEST hug that I have ever gotten from him once we got back from the wedding weekend. Spending time with Stu, and laughing at crazy drivers during Madison traffic jams. For instance, we saw a lady driving a car with a mounted deer head next to her. That cracked us up. Stranger things have been seen. Joining our neighbors for a cook-out. Getting a great news for our family (don't worry, I will reveal in due time). 

Looking Forward To: Doctor appointment at 10:30 am, and finally being able to feel Jellybean's heartbeats on the doppler. Then spending a few hours at Wildlife Sanctuary with some great friends! Forrest will have a blast seeing all the animals, and especially so, feeding them. 

Monday, June 9, 2014


How Far Along: 15 Weeks & 3 Days.

I am Feeling: I had both good, and bad days with nausea. Aside from that, I'm doing alright.

Weekly Milestone Growth:  At week 15, Jellybean is as big as a navel orange. Jellybean's arms, and legs are waving as Jellybean is attempting to learn how to coordinate, and control his/her movements. There is three tiny bones in Jellybean's ears that are being formed, and soon, Jellybean will be able to hear what is going on outside the womb. Jellybean's taste buds are forming, and flavors can be tasted through anatomic fluid that surrounds Jellybean. If Jellybean is a boy, then his sex organs are fully formed. If Jellybean is a girl, her external sex organ is still developing, and will be completed by 20 weeks, whereas her internal sexual organ is intact. 

Movement: I am still experiencing a lot of round ligament pains, which feels very much like rubber bands, if I move weird, and aches as the uterus grows to accommodate Jellybean. I am beginning to feel Jellybean bumping around, along with butterfly-like sensation.

Cravings: My craving for cheese is somewhat dying down. At this point, I still want a nibble of something sweet.

Aversions: None that really bothers me at this moment.

What I Miss the Most: Being able to lift, and carry Forrest without feeling so winded. Not getting heartburn from everything I eat, as it seems.

Best Moments of the Week: Deciding on the baby's name! Not sharing  names until birth though! Watching Orange is the New Black with Stu. Grilling hamburgers, and hotdogs. Organizing our living room for our new stuff to arrive. 

Looking Forward To: Our new sofa, and recliner tomorrow!! I truly can't wait! I had  been cleaning, and organizing the living room. It is amazing how many mega blocks (it's like super-sized Legos for toddlers) have managed to wind up UNDER our current sofa. Geez. We've had to rearrange our living room, and put away several large toddler play toys to the basement to make a room for our new things. I feel so grown up with a new sofa, ha ha. No more broken down sofa! I'm also really, really excited to be going to Madison this Friday for my BFF's wedding. As excited as I am to be going to see my best friends, and have an adult time without a toddler toddling around, I am also nervous about leaving Forrest behind, because it's my first time since we had him that I've been away from him for more than several hours. Although, I think it is probably harder on Mama than it is on Forrest to be away from each other. It will be an interesting weekend with being just two of us. I look forward to the baby appointment on Monday the 16th. It's my first regular OB-GYN appointment without ultrasound involved. It will be my first time to feel Jellybean's heartbeat. I've not had a chance to have doppler used on me since week 8 appointment (mainly because the ultrasounds have shown little heart beating so there was no need for doppler). I am curious to find out what Jellybean's heart rate is--will it be high or low? I don't put much stock in Old Wives' Tales, but it's fun to guess the gender based on heart rate! 

Monday, June 2, 2014


How Far Along: 14 weeks, and 3 days. I'm officially in the second trimester!

I Am Feeling: I am doing a lot better. I had been struck with a terrible indigestion over the weekend, and was sick as a dog. I felt super lucky to have a really loving, and supportive husband that stayed by my side the whole time. Lesson learned; the baby really, really, really HATES spicy food. I'm also feeling a bit wiped out from a long weekend from all the fun, and driving! 

Weekly Milestone Growth: Jellybean finally is sporting a neck! Before 14th week, Jellybean spends the time resting the head on chest, due to having very little neck, and now it is no longer an issue. Jellybean's heart rate is twice as quick as my heartbeat. During this week, Jellybean is practicing facial expressions by squinting, smiling, and frowning. Jellybean is able to jump around, and is often undetected by first time mamas, however, I am not the first time mama, and I am able to feel Jellybean once in while! Jellybean's eyelids are already formed, however, they remains closed. Hair may be growing on top of Jellybean's head at this point. Jellybelly is the size of a lemon. 

Movement: I still feel some butterfly-like sensation from time to time. It happens most when I am relaxed, and laying down. On some days, I feel this sensation more, and on some days, I don't, because I'm always moving, and too busy to focus on finding the fluttering. Besides, I think when I am on the move, it lulls Jellybean to sleep. 

Cravings: Still mainly cheese, sweet food, and fruits. 

Aversions: The smell of olive oil frying really bothers me. As Jellybean has made it very clear to me, Jellybean does not like spicy food. 

What I Miss the Most: Spicy food without getting a wicked indigestion. Sushi; I know I can have the vegetable roll type of thing, but I can't have the real deal until after the baby is born. 

Best Moments of the Week: Road trip. Traveling in the car with one of my best friends AKA Stu, and with a great little boy of ours. Forrest is a GREAT traveler. Seeing our extended family, especially Beth (my cousin), the bride, who looked beautiful! Having Forrest visit his grandparents, grandaunts, uncles, and aunts--matter of fact, Forrest was quite smitten by his aunt Alex. Summer storms (even though Turkey is not a fan of them). 

Looking Forward To: Netflix's premiere of Orange is the New Black on the 6th! Stu convinced me to start watching the show, and said I would like it, due to its dark comedy nature of the show, and my general interest in prison system. Ever since, I've been hooked to the show, and patiently waiting for the new season to premiere! Our new couch on the 10th. I really can't wait to get it delivered to our house. I am so excited about this. It's insane how you get excited for things as an adult that you would not be excited to get as a kid.