Monday, January 7, 2013

Becoming a Better Mom

My goal for 2013 is to become a better mom.

It seems simple enough, 
but so much is involved in achieving my goal.

I want...
to be more patient with Tiffany and Addie
to spend more time playing with them
cherish each moment more
to remember more about their lives
help them learn about Jesus and the gospel
them look back on their childhood and think, "wow, I had a cool mom."

As I looked back on this past year I felt like I didn't spend good quality time with my beautiful daughters. I let the busyness of life take over and forgot to cherish the moments. To help me remember I have planned what activity I will do with them everyday (2 weeks of planning at a time.) There are game days, library days, reading books all day days, coloring days, playground days, cool science project days, and playing with toys days. 

This started today, and it was game day.
I enjoyed a lovely game of Chutes and Ladders with Tiffany. 
Addie only lasted 2 rounds and got bored...
Tiffany actually lasted an entire game before getting bored and won!
Afterwards we just played with Legos, blocks and much more.

It was a great day!

(My other goal is to document these days with more pictures. Sadly I didn't do that today.)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Favorite 2012 Moments


We did a lot of fun things this year. Here are some of my favorite pictures and moments shown through pictures of this past year. 

(In no particular order...actually, they are completely out of chronological order.)

Beautiful Family Photos 
taken by my sister, Desiree. Some of my favorite family photos ever. 

 This is by far my favorite picture of Tiffany and me.

 I love how excited Tiffany was about her princess costume. 
Addie loves, loves, loves animals. She learned how to make an elephant sound from Tiffany. It was just too cute.

Kaiya Lynn's birth was a big part of 2012.
 We love having her in our family. After 7 weeks it's hard to remember what life was like before she was born. She is the perfect addition to our family. I look forward to her developing more of her personality. She's already turning into a daddy's girl like her big sisters. She smiles the biggest and gets the most excited when Blake talk to her. 

 This moment was huge for me. It was the only pain free time I had in the hospital and the only time I could really enjoy my new born baby girl. 

These cute girls love their little sister.

Addie turned 1 
this year and we were able to celebrate it with an unseasonably warm March day. It's amazing to see how much she has grown up since her birthday. She is a talking machine and remembers every word we tell her.  

We were able to enjoy a couple visits to Meijer Gardens for the butterflies. Tiffany thought these trips were great and even took the picture below. 

The start of our awesome summer vacations. Our first vacation was to Massachusetts to visit Blake's sister. On the way we stopped at Niagara and Palmyra. On the way home we stopped in Kirkland, OH.  
Niagara Falls
 This is down the river from Niagara Falls on the American side. It's called the Whirlpool. We didn't see the falls on this trip, but it was nice to take this break and for me to enjoy my first visit in New York.

Palmyra, NY
 After the falls we were able to visit Palmyra, NY. This is a beautiful temple. 
 Jospeh Smith's home and bed that he shared with many brothers.
 In the Sacred Grove. It was amazing to visit the place where the Restoration of the LDS church started. 

Dr. Seuss
 I am a big Dr. Seuss fan so we went to a Dr. Seuss memorial. 
 This is my favorite picture of Tiffany ever. I loved how she went up to Sally and put her arm around her like they were best friends. 

Basketball Hall of Fame
 The highlight of the trip for Blake might be the visit to the Basketball Hall of Fame to see John Stockton after his induction into it. 
 This is by far my favorite picture of Addie for the year. Her big beautiful blue eyes make us smile every day and this picture does those eyes some justice. 
 We were the only people at the Hall of Fame and were able to enjoy the basketball court to ourselves. Addie crawled around pushing the ball.
 The dunking hoops were just perfect for Tiffany to play on. 
 I love this moment for a number of reasons. Jake is Tiffany's older cousin (close to my age) and I loved seeing him interact with her. Jake is a very kind hearted man and Tiffany just loves him. This is him teaching her how to do poi. 

Kirkland, OH
 The LDS church was restored in Palmyra, but it was organized in Kirkland. I loved being able to visit the Newel K. Whitney store and be in the room where many great things happened. 
The Kirkland Temple. 

Camping at Hoffmaster State Park
 It was during this camping trip that we learned how much Addie likes to play in the water. We could barely keep her out of it. 

 Watching the sun set on the waters of Lake Michigan. 

Our second awesome summer vacation started at Liberty Jail in Missouri. We stopped here on our way to Texas, Arizona and Utah. 

Liberty Jail

The next big stop on our trip was El Paso, TX to visit Blake's brother Nate and his family. Tiffany loved her bonding time with her cousins.

 We went swimming in TX and we could not leave Addie's side. There were a number of times that we would catch her trying to jump into the pool with no one there to catch her. She had no fear and we couldn't keep her away from the water. 
 Tiffany is a little afraid of the water. I love that after we spent some time swimming that she had enough courage to venture out on her own. She swam by herself and played with her cousins all afternoon.

Addie also fell in love with the water at the splash pad while visiting my family in Arizona. I just loved watching her love of water. 

 Who's more pregnant??? My sister announced she was pregnant with her second while we were visiting her. I can't wait to meet my new nephew sometime this year. 

 Visiting Grandma at the LDS Church History Museum. They have a great children's area. 

 The new City Creek Mall in Salt Lake. We didn't do any shopping but it was fun watching the girls play in the water outside. They got soaked!!!

 Winter Quarters Visitor's Center 

Nauvoo, IL
 Nauvoo Temple
 We took a carriage ride through Nauvoo, IL

Carthage Jail

This is a photo taken after one of the most spiritual moments for me this year. While driving from Nauvoo to Carthage Jail (almost along the same path as Joseph Smith) the song Battle Hymn Republic by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir started to play. It was powerful to listen to the words of the song while we thought of the life and journey of Joseph Smith. "His truth is marching on!"

Tiffany's 5th Birthday!!!
She was able to start her birthday festivities by seeing Santa and ended it with a Cat in the Hat birthday party with friends. I can't believe my beautiful princess turned 5 this year and started preschool. She has excelled in school and everything else this past year. 

Married 6 Years!!!
This photo makes the list because I finally kept my eyes open in a photo. THIS IS HUGE FOR ME! Then, Blake ruined it by making a funny face. Life is never dull with Blake around. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Kaiya Lynn Ashby

Kaiya Lynn Ashby
November 8, 2012
3:12 pm
7 lbs 15 oz
20.5 in.


*I was INDUCED 2 days after my due date. I wanted to have the epidural BEFORE Kaiya was born. Nothing is worse than wanting an epidural having the it kick in 5 minutes after the baby is born. I did not want to repeat my birth experience with Addie again.

*I started having CONTRACTIONS 5 hours before I was schedule to be induced. The contractions STOPPED about 2 hours before I was scheduled to be induced.

*I have SUPER FAST deliveries once my body starts to dilate. Thankfully I had the epidural done a couple hours before so I didn't have to repeat my Addie experience. I went from 5 cm to delivering Kaiya in 45 minutes. I spent 7 hours prior to that only 4 cm dilated. As soon as my body starts to make progress then it's time for me to have a baby.

*I am BEYOND GRATEFUL that I had the epidural. 5 weeks before Kaiya was born I injured my pelvic area from falling down 5 stairs. I was still feeling the effects of that fall the day before she was born. During the last 45 minutes before Kaiya was born, I was in excruciating pain in the exact same pelvic area. I cannot image how painful that would have been without the epidural numbing all the other pain.

*Kaiya came out in ONE push. Seriously!?!?! I was shocked!!! I remember Blake telling me she was here before I was even finished pushing. I'm pretty lucky.

*For FOUR days after the delivery I had a spinal headache. It was AWFUL and definitely the worst headache I have ever had. It was almost impossible to take care of Kaiya on my own during that time. I had the nurses take Kaiya to the nursery the first night and any time Blake wasn't with me at the hospital. 24 hours later I had a blood patch done to fix the headache and it did very little to relieve my pain. Eventually they gave me a narcotic that relieved the pain for 12 hours. It was back the next morning and that narcotic never worked again to take the pain away.

*Since that headache has disappeared my recovery has been PERFECT!!! I woke up 4 days after Kaiya was born completely pain free. It was perfect timing. Blake had a class to teach on Monday and was gone teaching all day on Tuesday. My body is quickly going back to normal. I haven't had any postpartum depression. (HUGE CHEERS HERE!!) Tiffany and Addie LOVE LOVE LOVE their little sister.

This is post epidural
It looks like I only got 3 hours of sleep the night before

First Bath

Heavily drugged, freshly showered, pain free, and happy mom. 
This is the first time I could sit up in over 24 hours.  

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