Friday, March 28, 2014

A Day in the Life Of...

I like to do these posts periodically because I love to look back and see what our typical routine looked like.

Life right now is full of nursing, spit up, diapers (and more diapers), crying and fits but I wouldn't have it any other way and I know that in just a life and season will change. I'm trying my hardest to savor these moments with my babies because they will be gone and grown before I know it.
Note: These are random pictures throughout the week and not just one particular day!

Most days begin promptly at the awakening of Aubrey Lane. That ALWAYS happens at 7:15. Homegirl is like a human alarm clock. She will begin yelling for me to come get her out of her room, or she will knock on the door until someone opens it for her. Doesn't matter if she goes to bed at 7:45 pm or 10:45 pm...she will be awake at 7:15.

Weston Hayes on the other hand is a bit more unpredictable. He has by no means mastered the art of sleeping through the night and on most nights he is content to be up numerous times just to hang out. I'm not real fond of us hanging out at night and I've told him so, but he has yet to get the memo.

So depending on his night, some mornings he is up with Aubrey and sometimes he chooses to sleep in. Again...totally unpredictable, that boy.

I'll put a Curious George on for Aubrey and fix her a bowl of Oatmeal. She will sit in her high chair and drink her milk and eat while I attempt to eat breakfast myself, fix her lunch for school, load dishes in the dishwasher or what I've been doing lately...pleading with Weston to stop making mornings so miserable!

I'll usually let Bre keep watching tv while I sneak off and nurse Weston. Right now Weston is terrified of Aubrey and refuses to nurse if she is around. He fears for his life and rightly so because Aubrey is a terror! HAHA!

After feeding Weston, I'll lay both kiddos on the floor in the den and change diapers (yes...Bre is still embracing the diapers) and get them dressed for the day. I'll usually send Aubrey to her playroom to play and put Weston in his swing while I attempt to take a shower and make myself look presentable as well.

At 8:45 we are out the door to bring Aubrey to school. She goes two days a week from 9-3. Aubrey absolutely loves her school and asks to go everyday!

After I drop Bre off at carpool, I usually either run errands or head home to start work. I'm doing some marketing/accounting work for my brother's construction company and it is keeping me very busy. 

I feed Weston again at about 11 and without fail he blows out his diaper at that time. Thanks buddy!
After I feed him I usually grab a bite to eat and finish up any work that I might need to get done before it's time to get Bre. I'll also attempt to clean up the house from the morning. I always leave the house in the mornings looking like a tornado came through so I at least try to make it look presentable. I did break down and hire someone to come help me deep clean once a month. I just can't do it all and I just think I need a little help for the next few months in getting my house where it needs to be. Plus I don't want to waste my weekends that I could be spending with my family...on toilets and floors.
I feed Weston one more time around 2/2:30 and then pack up to go get Aubrey from school. I love picking Aubrey up and seeing what she is working on or peek in while she is playing. It's so fun to see her so independent and grown up!
On Fridays after school, I try and get a special treat for Bre. We stop and get an ice cream cone (not sure I thought that one through) or some candy...just something to start the weekend off right. I'm trying my hardest to make traditions with Aubrey and I think "Friday Treats" are something she will remember.
Once we get home, we try and do something fun together...either go for a walk, play outside, do an art project or playdough. Aubrey is always up for anything and embraces playtime full force!

4:30-5:30 is a hard time. Aubrey usually doesn't nap well at school and is somewhat cranky and I'm trying to get dinner together while entertaining her as well. Christian's schedule changes, so sometimes he is home at 3 and sometimes he is home at 8. If he gets home early, we are MUCH happier! On nights he gets home at 8:00, I usually rely on MeMe and Papa D to help. My parents are so amazing about picking up dinner for us or bringing left overs to our house when they know Christian is working. They will sometimes eat with us or invite us over to their house. They are true GODSENDS!! I'd never make it without their help.

We usually eat dinner around 5:30, after dinner I will feed Weston again and then I will throw Bre in the tub. Aubrey loves to play in the tub and I can get a good 30-45 minutes worth of things done while she plays in the bathtub. I get Aubrey out of the tub, dressed and then put Weston in the tub. Sweet boy loves to take baths and I love the smiles I get during his soak.

Around 7, I put a movie on for Bre in my room and we all sit on the bed and just relax. Lately we have been watching Frozen with Aubrey and she is in love with the music and dancing. She cracks us up as she sings "Let it Go" and tries to imitate Elsa.
Look at that face...she is in princess fantasy land! (so is Christian!)
I begin the bedtime process with Aubrey around 8:15 and that includes teeth brushed, stories, and she insists on chatting in bed for at least 10-15 minutes. She will say, "Let's talk about..." and then proceed to say something that she did that day or want to talk about who she saw. I sometimes will look at Aubrey and realize that she talks NON-STOP. I laugh because I really notice it at night when I'm exhausted... but my girl never shuts up!!! She is constantly giving me a rundown of what is going on or what she is about to do. Don't get me wrong...I adore our bedtime conversations more than anything but sometimes I wonder if she would even notice if I dozed off during one of our nightly talks.  I really think she would just keep talking.

After I put my chatterbox to bed, I feed Weston again and usually by then Christian is home. We will watch a show or just crash depending on the time and night. I try to be asleep by 9 at the latest because I know my son will be calling in just a few short hours for my attention!

Life with a newborn and a toddler is soooo crazy but I love every minute of it.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

One year ago...

I recently made a "special dates" artwork piece for our mantle and on it contained numerous special dates that were dear to my heart...the day I met my husband, the day we got married, the day Aubrey and Weston were born, etc. Days that forever altered the course of my life. Special days filled with wonderful memories and moments that I will take with me for the rest of my life.

But there are other days in life that also define us. Days that are filled with grief and tears. Days that we swear we would never want to live again. Days that we look upon with heavy hearts and plead with the Lord never to make us walk down or re-live. I'm slowly realizing that those days are just as defining as the most beautiful days...those days are just as significant and memorable and destined to change us in one way or another.

March 8, 2013. The day I lost my baby and had to endure the pain of never holding that precious soul this side of glory. It was one of the hardest days of my life. I don't recall that kind of pain ever being present in my life before. I look back at my response to my trial and I honestly feel like I failed at my test.

I was angry, bitter and resentful towards God. I outwardly presented a brave front, but on the inside I was broken and felt betrayed. I cringed at the common verses about "God not giving us more than we can handle" or "in this world we will have trouble, but take heart". Those words just cut deeper and made me feel as my pain was insignificant and minor. I was full of disappointment and I lashed out at God instead of accepting His will for my life. To be honest...I inwardly acted like a spoiled brat and was convinced I would only be happy when He gave me the desires of my heart for another baby.

Ultimately, in God's goodness and ability to see past my heart, He did give me another baby and my hope was restored. However, I look back at my thoughts and heart and feel as though my faith didn't withstand the test. It has taken almost a year for me to see the error of my ways and fall on my knees in repentance. I feel as though I've let Him down and only talked the talk...instead of letting my life walk the walk.

I know God forgives me and He has brought beauty from the depths of my despair. He has taught me truths through my miscarriage and my response and I believe He is still working on strengthening my heart. I am such a work in progress it isn't even funny, but the truths I'm discovering are worth the moments of pain and correction.   I don't believe for a second that this will be the last test that I will endure. I believe God will send many more dark days my way because the fact of the matter is we live in a broken world. I've been blessed to not have to endure heartache and pain very often and for that I am very thankful. However, I hope that in the future my days of pain will be more of a testament of my faith. I hope that I will withstand the pressure better than before.

My prayer is that I will put my faith in God...not God's response to my situation. Faith is not about God's response, it is about God Himself. Our pastor spoke on this on the anniversary date of my miscarriage which totally rocked my world. I knew without a doubt God was speaking directly to me. He was reconfirming to me, "Ashlee...believing in Me is not about what I do but rather Who I AM!"

I praise God for allowing me to walk through that valley. I can now stand on this side of the pain, a year later and truly praise God for that storm. He has taught my heart more in that valley than all the days of sunshine and joy. I believe my unborn baby was a true gift to me. A gift of strengthening my faith and learning what my God is really about. I will forever cherish the lessons I learned from my miscarriage.

My hope for you...whether walking through, coming out of, or entering into a trial is that you will remember that God is who He is no matter what. He is GOOD and He knows best. His will doesn't always match what we have in mind, but it is so much better than we could ever wish for ourselves. It may take weeks or even years to see the good in our tough situations, but I believe ultimately we can rest assured in knowing that it is for our good and ultimately His glory.

I'll leave you with one more thing our pastor shared on my anniversary date...another truth that brought tears to my eyes...sometimes God sends trials and test to those in whom He is most proud of. Sometimes like Job, He says..."that one there...that one will be faithful". Maybe I didn't walk through my pain without faltering or failing...but I find peace in knowing the next time trouble comes my way, I can look at it as an opportunity to say, "yes Lord...I will stand and you can count on me".

May my life be filled with many more chances to prove myself to My God. May I be filled with a supernatural ability to stand the trials that this life will throw my way. Let my life be a witness to those around me that can only point to my God.

So to my sweet baby on this anniversary date...may you know that this momma loves you and misses you dearly. May you know that I still await the day I will look into your eyes and embrace your touch. But until that day, know that I am stronger because of you. I am a better person because of your precious little life. Thank you for the lessons I've learned from you. You taught me so much and I am continuing to discover truths from your legacy. Above all...thank you for being mine...I love you.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Weston Hayes-2 months old

Weston Hayes you are two months old! My oh my how the time is flying! I can honestly say it has been nothing but wonderfulness (I know that is not a word) with your sweet self. You are the easiest baby ever and have completely stolen my heart. I think you are just the sweetest little guy around and nothing melts my heart more than your sweet smile and precious noises...except those grunts at 3:00 am.

You are just like your daddy...laid back and easy going. All I have to do is make sure you are fed and your butt is clean and you are one happy camper. You are very predictable and I find myself learning your cues and I can easily figure out what you want or need.

You don't like your swing, to have a dirty diaper, or being in the car if it is not moving. You are a little nervous with your sister but that is understandable with the amount of times she has stepped on your head or screamed in your face! You don't like changing your clothes or being too hot...but other than those few things, you are an easy going dude!

Now for things you love...mommy and daddy, your wub-a-nub, eating, sleeping on your belly, looking around/people watching, bath time, and I'd say your absolute favorite thing right now is the Boppy. You absolutely LOVE sleeping on the boppy and will nap better on this pillow than in my arms, the carseat, your crib or the pack and play. The Boppy is by far your best buddy right now. I usually lay you on it and you are out in minutes...for hours! You are just the cutest thing all snuggled up on the pillow!

I give you my evidence...

 Oops! This is how I find you sometimes! HAHA!
And sometimes you just like to stare at Mommy while she works!

Please do not judge me for my lack of bed making. There is just not enough time in the day for everything!

Weston, I do not have you on much of a's just too hard with Aubrey, work and all the other responsibilities of our family. You pretty much nap when you feel like it and honestly we just make each day work. You are like clockwork when it comes to night time though. I feed you at 8:00 pm and then I hit the sack immediately. You wake up at 12:30 and then again at 3:30. Most of the time you will sleep til 7:30 but lately you have decided you need a 6:00 am feeding as well...I honestly hope that is something you change your mind about in the very, very near future.

Weston you weigh 11 pounds 5 ounces! WOW! You are in the 25th percentile for your weight and height. I'm shocked at how big you are a good 2 pounds bigger than Aubrey at this same age!
You are a great nurser and eat every three hours. I cherish our time together at feedings because I get quiet, one on one time with you and that is so rare and special!
We love you Weston Hayes...we can't believe how perfect you are for us and we thank the Lord everyday for blessing us with your presence. You are our joy!

Happy 2 months baby boy! We love you!