Sunday, June 30, 2019


How Far Along: 26 weeks!

I am Feeling: Alright; dealing with this heat isn't very fun, and we live in an older house so all the heat rises upstairs, and it can be hard for me to sleep. Otherwise, I'm feeling good. 

Movements: I feel Pumpkin all of the time throughout the day. I feel her slide, bump, and stretch out. I don't like it when she stretches out, because it can cause some pain when she does that! 

Symptoms: Heartburn is back as well as constipation. Hello almost third trimester! I still deal with so-so sleep, because insomnia is a weird thing as well as my hip being sore from sleeping on my left side for too long. It's a good thing that I'm already prepared for little sleep to begin with!

Labor Signs: None. Good. Pumpkin need to bake! 

Best Moments of the Week: Having Pumpkin's room to be completed! Stu hung up the frames for me, and it was one of the last things to do for her room. I go into her room all of the time to admire how pretty her room is! It's fun to see her room, because the anticipation of meeting Pumpkin is growing more, and more every day! Spending time with our sweet boys outside while they play with their splash pad. Enjoying summer weather...finally...even though I am not a fan of sleeping in the heat at night. I finished two pretty dresses for Pumpkin, and finally found an awesome project to make for my nephew! It is something I've been wanting to make for a long time, and found a pattern for it, so I am excited. 

Looking Forward to: Our trip to Iowa in a couple weeks! Fox's doctor appointment for his 2 year wellness check. I like checking up on his stats, and see how he is growing. Then my doctor appointment a couple days after with DR. Mbah. Finally!! I haven't seen her in two months, and I am excited to be seeing her again. I'll have to ask her when my NST starts. I'm assuming around week 32. 

Next Appointment: July 10th. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

8th Anniversary: At Home with Each Other

Our Eighth anniversary tumbled into the midst of busyness circulating among ourselves; Forrest starting his 3rd stint of summer school and Franklin his first, Fox celebrating his second birthday, Stuart completing up his end of the year work conferences and evaluations, and me preparing for our newest baby's arrival this come October. As our kids grow older, we find ourselves getting more involved with their lives, especially me as a mother trying to balance everything in this family, and making sure the house runs smoothly with differing schedules. Our marriage has slowly taken a back seat to our children's lives. 

It sounds ominous, doom-like, and terrible. In fact, it is not. We have reached to a place where we are finally secure with fiances, our futures, our children's futures, and everything has fallen into its place. When we are able to sit down on the sofa to watch our favorite binge-worthy TV series, we look at each other, and smile. No words needed to be exchanged. No lengthy worried discussions needed. We rarely argue. When we do argue, we try to fight smart instead of dirty with stinging words. We acknowledge when we are in wrong, and apologize. Pride no longer has a place in our marriage. We want our kids to model after what we are teaching them about relationships, and we try out best to portray that. We are on the same page when it comes to parenting our kids, and in supporting each other's decisions. We are comfortable, secure, and happy. 

But, but, but Ashley, that's boring!!! 

On the contrary, it is the opposite. Too many people assume that being comfortable, and having some kind of excitement in your marriage or a long term relationship is mutually exclusive. It is not. To invite chaos, drama, and uncertainty especially with young ones welcomes stress, and strain on a relationship. It is something that we want to seen remained removed from our lives. We have long since come from the days of many changes, stress, and challenges regarding money, personal lives, and children rearing care. We welcome stability, and comfort. 

Of course, there is a danger of becoming TOO comfortable, too busy with our kids, and too busy with our careers. We are conscious of that. We try to have a date. It does not require us dressing up, finding a babysitter, or any form of energy to go out (even though this is nice to do, and probably a necessary one once in while to just get out of the house). We simply watch our favorite TV series, eat popcorn, and kick back. We reconnect by doing this--our little dates, our conversations to catch up, and to remain aware of what is happening with our family, jobs, or personal lives. 

It can be extremely easy, too easy, to neglect your marriage, and let it slide, especially during your kids' formative years, because you are busy raising them, going to your job, and dealing with life. It can be easy to formulate resentments, hurt feelings, and loneliness when two persons begin to diverge. This divergence is quite normal as long as you are also leading lives together. The key is balance. To do your own things on your own time is great for your soul. So is spending time with your spouse without your kids.

I do feel fortunate to have a such wonderful husband to rely on for stability, and security as well as love, especially in the middle of chaos, and busyness in our lives. 

Thursday, June 20, 2019


How Far Along: 25 weeks!! I can't believe I have 14 weeks left of growing this little pumpkin before meeting her! 

I am Feeling: Pretty good. Just feeling like wow, I'm getting big, and I'm only going to get bigger! I'm excited to be getting closer to 30 weeks!

Movements: Baby Girl is definitely more active on certain days more than others. She goes through lulls of being crazy, then chill for a day or two, then back to crazy all day long. It all depends on her mood!

Symptoms: Ugh, what a crazy roller coaster this week has been for me in term of my pregnancy. For the FIRST TIME EVER in my whole history of being pregnant, I threw up, and to add the insult to that injury, I also peed my pants when I threw up. It is all because of our dumb Basset Hound throwing up on the carpet, and I couldn't control my gag reflex from the smell. So I just threw up. Yay. I'm starting to feel more pains, especially if Baby Girl is laying weird, and roll certain way. My hip bothers me a lot from sleeping in one position for too long. Walking usually alleviate the pain. I am also experiencing pregnancy insomnia, which is a new thing with this pregnancy only, and I'd fall asleep only to wake up 45 minutes later, and be wide awake for 2-3 hours after. It's annoying!! I am also dealing with heartburn these days. Yuck. 

Labor Signs: None. 

Best Moments of the week: Stu built the dresser, a changing table, and installed the curtain rods to hang up the curtains. Baby Girl's room is starting to look so cute, and nice! I'm excited about that. I am so excited to organize everything. I've been getting clothes from people for Baby Girl, and I am really grateful for that. The boys are thrilled about getting boxes, and packages in the mail, because it means they get to build forts, and imagine going on adventures! I finished the baby mobile (yay), and nearly completed the baby cocoon bag for the pictures. I just have a beanie hat to make. It is really precious! OMG. I think we may have settled on Baby Girl's name. I'm really excited about that. It's a name I did not choose initially, and did not like at first, but it grew on me, and I fell in love with the name. 

Looking Forward To: Finishing Baby Girl's nursery room. 

Next Appointment: July 10th with Dr. Mbah. I'd have to double check on time later. 

Update: Our sweet little Pumpkin did great! She did grow, and showed no abnormalities with her growth, or her kidney. Yay!! Pumpkin was stubborn though, and did not want to show her face. So we only had a partial shot of her facial profile, and she was sure adorable by what we saw. She remained a breech. It did not surprise me a bit. I had two tests done; one for my comprehensive blood draw, and other for diabetes check. I passed both with flying colors! 

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Fox is TWO Years Old

Dear Mr. Fantastic Fox,

You are TWO year old.

It is amazing to think that you've been with us for two whole years. The day you were born was a very special one to Mama and Daddy. Life changed when you came into the world at 7:48 PM on June 19th, 2017.

You are a perfect missing puzzle to what was broken in Mama's heart, and has healed that part of her. For that, you will always be a very special little boy. You are amazing, beautiful, hilarious, bright, wild, stubborn, and full of surprises. There has not been a day that has gone by without Mama feeling grateful for you, and your brothers. The only thing that Mama wishes often is that time would slow down a bit more, and not have you all grow up so quickly, yet at the same time, this serves as a reminder how important it is to be in the moment, and to cherish you three. 

In the past year, your personality has bloomed, and you started showing who you ARE. It has been a grand adventure to witness you emerge, and become into an adorable, precious toddler.

You love cleaning, and often carry a rag with you around the house. You bend over and mop any spots you can find. Your most favorite cleaning item is the toilet brush. Mama has no idea why, but you just LOVE it. She often has to hide them from you, because of the yuck factor that comes with them. You love helping Mama with laundry. You gleefully remove clean item of clothing out of the basket to be sorted by Mama, then attempt to fold them yourself. You enjoy picking up toys, and putting them away in the organizational bins. You help Mama with the clean dishes from the dishwasher. There is not a chore you refuse to help with....that is until you turn 3 or 4, and not want to help anymore! So Mama will enjoy this while it lasts! 

You enjoy eating. There is not very much that you dislike eating. You love to offer the food to anyone nearby you, and to ask for food from others. The only time you'd turn up your nose to food is when you are not feeling well. This mannerism reminds me of much of Franklin. Hopefully, you take after his adventurous eating habits. Your favorite food is squeezable apple pouches, apples, and yogurt tube. You do like your sweet food! You love sharing food with anybody nearby you, and you expect them to return the same favor to you! 

You took your first step when you were 16 months old, but preferred to crawl over walking. Slowly but surely, you began to walk more and more every passing day. You finally started to walk around 17 months old, and had not looked back since! You loved running around the house with your brothers as fast as your little legs could carry you! 

Your first sign is DOG. You often try to sign, even though it comes across as gibberish, and you are one of the most expressive little toddlers ever. You shrug with a furrowed eyebrows, and quizzically ask what is going on. You scream as loud as you can while shaking your fists. You laugh with your mouth open, and your laughs come from deep inside your belly. You pout with your lower lip sticking out when you're told NO, and burst into tears. You run around like crazy when you are excited! 

You love kisses, and often bow your head to receive kisses, especially from Mama. You have recently started blowing kisses at people, and it's the most precious thing ever! You lay in your crib, and smack your lips to blow kisses. You love to yell out, BYE BYE, as you head to your bedroom for a nap or bed. It is the most precious thing ever. You enjoy reading in your crib before you fall asleep, and love being read to by Forrest. You laugh and giggle when Franklin pops by to say hi to you during your naps. You love attention, and to be loved by those who cares about you!

You finally are sporting a mouthful of teeth! You have been without teeth for a very long time to the point where Mama started to worry a little! You met with a pediatrician dentist, Dr. Tom, and he had no worry about your lack of teeth. He assured Mama that before you turned two, you should have teeth, and sure enough, he was right! Mama asked Dr. Tom about a gap in the front of your teeth, and as it had turned out, you had a lip tie. Dr. Tom was not worried. He explained that it will most likely break later (ouch) when you fall, or your teeth will eventually align themselves to close the gap.

You've finally entered 2T clothes, however, your waist is nearly nonexistent, and your shorts are always falling off! This is a problem that Mama is used to having between you three boys. A little adjustment to correct the problem usually helps. You're such a skinny bean pole!

You are always exploring. You are rarely staying still. You enjoy walking around the house, finding things to get into, and to play with. Your most favorite activity is to grab a kitchen utensil, and mix dog food into the water bowl. You can entertain yourself for a long while doing this! You love playing with pretend food, and cooking. You enjoy holding hands with someone, and walk around the yard. You love burying your hands into the dirt, and throw it around. Sometimes, you like eating dirt! When you hear something that interests you, then you MUST check it out. If you cannot, then you get quite frustrated, because you MUST know what is happening. Your FOMO (fear of missing out) is still strong even after two years!

You're mischievous, charming, funny, sweet, bold, affectionate, and a ball of wilderness! Your most favorite thing to do is just to cuddle with mama every night for a half hour to watch TV together in the bed, and spend time with just her, which makes Mama pretty happy, since the older two are too busy being in the cahoots! You can be quite moody at times. You throw fits when you are told no. Your lower lip will quiver, and you have that pause before you start screaming your head off. You love running after your older brothers as they run around the house! During your quieter moments, you enjoy cuddling with Daddy. You love being outside with your brothers, and dislike to be left behind. You make it very clear when you are left behind! Fortunately, you do have sweet older brothers who adore you, and often allow you inside their circle.

You faced not just one change, but two major changes in your short life. The first change was a big move from your old house to a new one! The new home was more spacious for you three brothers to play, and run in. It also gave everybody an additional breathing room, since the old house was becoming too small for our growing family. You handled the move like a trooper. You loved helping Mama and Daddy packing, and it did not frazzle you to have everything slowly put away in boxes around the house. You had no trouble adjusting to the new home, and slept in your new bedroom with no problem. It was a wonderful to see how well you boys adjust to the new home.

The second big change in your life is that you're about to become a big brother! You are oblivious to Mama's growing belly, and for all you care or know, you are the only the baby of the family. Mama has been cuddling with you a lot these nights, because she knows that the relationship between you and her might change a bit after your sister is born. So she's enjoying those moments with you. The only interest you expressed with the baby is that you wanted your sister's Llama, so Mama gave you the Llama for you to have, and bought a new one for baby sister! So that way, you have something to connect you with your baby sister. Mama and Daddy are quite excited to see how you bond with your baby sister as well as having your bond grow stronger with your older brothers.

So yes, our dear fantastic Fox, we are blessed to have you in our lives, and we look forward to year TWO with you.


Mama, Daddy, Forrest, and Franklin

Sunday, June 16, 2019


How Far Along: 24 weeks! 

I am feeling: Pretty good. It's beautiful finally with the weather, and it feels like summer is here to stay. So that is making me very happy. I have hit a milestone, and it is called a viability milestone. It means if our little one is born sometimes after this week, then there is a HUGE fighting chance for her to survive. While she does need to stay put in and cook much longer, this milestone is both relieving and exciting. 

Movements: You bet! She is an active baby. Sometimes, she gets herself into a position that bothers me, because she stretches out my uterus, and it can be painful. I am not sure if it is from her flipping around, or leaning weird. I often have to nudge her to get her moving out of that position if it is bothering me. I love feeling her. We can see her move from outside! 

Symptoms: Nausea comes and goes. It never really ever went away with this pregnancy. My feet hurts if I am on them all day long. Aside from that, I feel pretty good! I'm finding myself to be more anxious to get baby girl's nursery room set up though. 

Labor Signs: Last Saturday was Logan's graduation party. I was outside on my feet all day long, and I didn't drink enough water. I paid the price. I had painful BH contractions. My BH contractions never hurt in the past, but those sucked butt! I had to go inside to sit down, and drank two worth of water jugs. My BH did ease up, and I felt a lot better. Lesson learned! KEEP DRINKING water, especially when it's warm outside. 

Best Moments of the week: Spending time with family at Logan's graduation party, being NEARLY done with the llama mobile (that excites me, yay, because I only have one cactus left to make then I'm off to make a cocoon bag for the picture session), Fox's bedroom got painted and it looks FANTASTIC, knowing that we are getting closer to our second ultrasound appointment is a relief too, and having our friends over for dinner. Shopping for baby's things. 

Looking forward to: I am getting antsy to be able to set up a date with Stu to go Ikea to shop for baby nursery furniture, and it has been difficult to try find a right date to go with him, because of his work schedule, and finding someone to watch the boys. Sending my older two to summer school, and having pretty much half day to just Fox and me! It will make food shopping much easier. Buying more things for baby's room, and preparing her arrival. Coming up with a name for pumpkin is a struggle, and I'm hoping that soon we will have that eureka moment. 

Next Appointment: June 20th at 11:45 am. 


How Far Along: 23 weeks! 

I am Feeling: I am frustrated with my phone situation with a videophone company. I don't feel ragey like I did with my boys. I am just more tired of having to deal with crap that doesn't work. Trying to contact their customer service in the past 3 months is getting tiring. Fortunately, I have some recommendations of which companies to switch. I may have to do that if I continue to be unable to get someone to talk with. 

Movements: Pumpkin sure likes to move a lot. There has been some days when she's quieter, and don't move as much due to me being so busy, and being on my feet a lot. She tend to wake up when there is craziness in the house, or if I eat something sugary, or drink cold water! She likes to move the most during our coffee time, and evening time. 

Symptoms: I'm feeling pretty good. I get a bit out of breath sometimes, and fatigued. My feet hurts if I am on them all day long. My hip pain is awful if I sleep in one position too long at night. Other than that, I am in the honeymoon phase, and enjoying my pregnancy. 

Labor signs: All is good. I have some BH contractions here and there. 

What do I miss the most: Nothing really at this moment. I'm enjoying my pregnancy. This is my last one. So I catch myself feeling a bit sad sometimes that it will be my very last time to experience this, and because of this, I am trying my best to enjoy it all. 

Best Moments of the week: I am excited about my new crochet project. I've been working on llamas and catci mobile. I found the cutest pattern on etsy, and to my dismay, it was not available! So I contacted the seller to see if I could still get it. She ended up selling the tutorial to me, and I was thrilled! I have finished two Llamas so far. Yay! 

Looking Forward To: Summer, finishing the baby mobile, and just enjoying ourselves. 

Next Appointment: June 20th at 11:45 am. I will have to figure out an arrangement for someone to pick up the older two from summer school while I am at this appointment! 

Week 22

How Far Along: 22 weeks! We are just two weeks away from a major milestone, and once we hit that milestone, I will be able to take a sigh of relief! 

I am Feeling: Pretty good. I am tired, a bit sore, and out of breath. Otherwise, I feel great. I think we are finally hitting a comfortable stride in my pregnancy. It should be like this until mid summer, and I might start complaining until then. 

Movements: Pumpkin is starting to have her regular cycles of waking, and sleeping. She is most active in mornings, and evenings. In the between, she sleeps a lot unless I eat sweet food or drink cold water. Then it jolts her awake!

Symptoms: I'm having a lot of BH contractions, which are annoying, but painless. I have sore hip on my left side from sleeping in one position for too long. I find that if I walk the following morning, then the pain goes away. I have an occasional sore lower back. Other than that, it is all good!

Labor Signs: Nope. The only "labor" sign I have is the BH contractions. 

What do I miss the most: Being completely comfortable. The sore hip from sleeping in one position for too long is bothersome. I tend to sleep like rock in one spot, and now my sleep is being disturbed a lot by me needing to move around more often in my sleep.

Best moments of the week: Spending time with my family over Memorial Day weekend, being nearly done with the C2C blanket (it is so easy and quick to make), picking out fabric with Aunt Ro for baby girl's quilt, getting pack n play all set up (man, that was a pain to assemble), getting the car seat (LOVE IT), finally setting up a dinner date with our family friends (it has been way too long), and most of all, Stu painted Pumpkin's bedroom! It turned out AMAZING, and I just LOVE LOVE LOVE it. 

Looking forward to: Buying more things for the nursery room, shopping for Pumpkin's clothes and preparing her arrival, her coming home outfit, and just spending time with family now that everybody is healthy!

Next Appointment: June 20th at 11;45 am. It will be another ultrasound to check on Pumpkin's health and growth, and getting that nasty drink for diabetes test. Hopefully all goes well that I can be released back into Mbah's care!