Wednesday, June 22

Pitty Pat

Well, he finally made it!  Waiting for this little guy did take some patience, but ohhh was he worth the wait.  If you think about it, though, were you up cloud-jumping through the heavens and being informed of your prospects for making it to earth ("Look, the Ashleys REALLY want a baby and I know their life seems a tad chaotic and downright scary at times, but they're kinda great people under it all and really will love you...) it might take the better part of a year to consent to coming to our home too.  Thankfully, his adventurous spirit got the better of him and he eventually gave in.

I should have realized he wasn't going to be in any hurry to actually join us, though.  Having developed his little ears while being assaulted by the shrieks and squeals of his older sisters (and occasionally his mom) through 9+ months, I understand why he just held on as long as he could inside his nice and cozy, muffled waterbed.  In fact, he probably rejoiced at hearing the nurse tell me 3 hours into what was supposed to have been my induction, that it had been cancelled (too many other mommies-to-be in actual labor and no spare beds) and we'd need to come back two days later.  He was in no rush.  But I was.  I just wanted to see this little guy.  And kiss him.  And nuzzle him and feel his teeny tiny body stretch and flop and curl into a ball of wonder in my arms.

So, I guess when the time came (after a fairly "easy" 9-hr labor), he realized I meant business and was determined to win the wait-out.  Before the Dr. made it back into the room and after a few short pushes, Patrick David made his earthly debut.  June 14, 8:32 pm - 8 lbs 5 oz, 20 3/4 inches, with "just enough" dark hair and eyebrows, screaming his little heart out and cute as a button.

He's made it marvelously through his first week.  A sleeper, eater and pooper who indeed stretches and flops (he's rolled over twice while protesting diaper changes wildly with legs swinging) and curls into the sweetest ball of wonder these arms have held since my last butterball of wonder 4 years ago.  He's precious.  He's my guy.  I'm totally and utterly smitten.  (As are his daddy and two mommy sisters.) He was so very totally worth the wait.  And so, I give you... a glimpse at little Patrick's first week of life:

- A little note of encouragement Abby left in my hospital bag. 

The beginning of the end... -

- Patrick's first glimpse of his Momma                      Could a dad look more excited to hold his first son? -

- Sisters meet Brother

Taking in his new world -

- Settling down for his first night
We did it! - 

- Go Irish!(?) (Future QB? Size comparison? Oh, Daddy)                       Ellie's twin -

- Big sis #1

Big sis #2 - 

- A tad apprehensive about going home.  Not sure why.                   And we're off! -

- Snuggly in his Woombie                                                   Dreaming -

- Cutest frog ever                        

                                                                Out like a trout -

- Brother/Sister bonding time                                                               Snuggle Bug -


Me, wondering why Patrick showed no intention of coming: "Maybe baby brother is just too buoyant inside my belly."  Ellie: "Buoyancy means to keep it afloat."

Abby, while once again making her "healthy pink drink recipe" that she made for our dinner last week: "Where is the thing that takes off the apple skins?  Last time I just had to use my teeth."

Ellie, approaching me very seriously with a clipboard and paper: "Schedule # 12: babies can't eat, babies can't drink and babies can't change their own diapers."

Abby: "Mom, when am I going to have a baby?"  Me: "In lots of years when you grow up and meet someone and fall in love."  Abby: "But I don't know how to fall in love."  Me: "Oh, you'll learn when you're older."  Abby: "Well, I am in love with Nathan Morse."  Me: "Oh, really?  How do you know you're in love with him?"  Abby: "Well, he's just a really good kid and my friend and I love him."  Later...: "So, when I marry Nathan, what will my last name be?"  Me: "If you marry Nathan then you'll be Abigail Morse."  Abby: "Abigail Morse. (Shy smile and little laugh.) I like it."

Sunday, June 12


Never mind that I've been too crabby during the last 2 months to write anything worth reading.  Turns out me + being that pregnant + two slightly rambunctious girls + Adam working 'til all hours of the night + ... = not a good time for anyone (aka Alison Ashley in her starring role as the Wicked Witch of the East - whose children only wished a house would fall out of the sky to crush her).  BUT, our little guy starts his medically forced journey into the real world come 14 hours from now and for some reason, I'm now doing pretty darn well.

And so, before the madness of adding a new little munchkin to the bunch, I thought I'd best hurry and capture some of the crazy moments leading up to his impending birth.

On Easter weekend we made a fun trip to visit our Cox cousins outside of Detroit where each year a helicopter drops thousands of marshmallows onto a park field so that all sugar-crazed children can run helter skelter and gather up as many marshmallows as they can (which are then supposed to be turned in for door prizes - however, we didn't catch that memo and the kids thoroughly enjoyed their mud and grass covered confections).  So fun.

Easter was just a blast with new shoes and treats found within the jungle of real grass growing in our Easter buckets. I went a little wild with the dresses this year, but oh how they twirl!

Our little Ellie Bean happened to turn 4 on the day of the Kentucky Derby this year.  So, naturally, SHE decided to have a derby party (with a bit of convincing from Dad) and Daddy only suggested we get a new TV (along with cable service) in order to actually view the Derby at this party.  Shopping for TVs was great fun, though we opted for the regular ol' 2-D in the end.  Ellie had a blast at her party, complete with good friends in fancy hats cheering on their winning horse picks, some yummy KFC and other southern food favorites, and a pony pinata.  By the day's end she was one tuckered out big 4-yr-old girl.

Nana came to town to help Mommy get her wits about her and get our house in at least a decent enough condition for baby brother to come home to.  We had good times attempting to swim, at least, in frigid water - with thoughts and hopes of sunshine one day blessing our lives.  We also constructed bunk beds so Ellie and Abby could join forces in their nightly "we don't want/can't go to bed (for x reason)" campaigns.  Very exciting.

 The girls had their first dance recital - Ellie doing a tap routine to "Lollipop" and Abby a ballet number to "Tiki Room."  Most amusing.  Daddy almost made it to intermission. (Luckily they were in the first half and were persuaded out of dancing in the finale by promises of a fancy dinner.)

 We celebrated (did I say that?) our last day of teaching preschool!  Ellie and her darling friends Reese, Kate and Natalie have had too much fun learning all about music and notes and instruments and dancing like little crazies all around our house.  We will miss them!

Because I had convinced my brain - just not my uterus - that baby should and would be coming before Abby's Kindergarten Day to Shine, the two of us had a special check-outta-school lunch date at Romeo and Juliette's - fine Italian dining.  However, Day to Shine came before baby (as did Nana, bless her heart) and Abby got to share with us all of the great things she has learned this year at school.

 Daddy did have a birthday in there and just had too much fun and excitement that we totally forgot to take a picture, but Happy 31st to Daddy.

Finally, to celebrate our final day of being "the Ashley Family 4" (+ Nana), we did some major projects.  I channeled my inner man child and got serious with some power tools, repurposing our old TV hutch in to our new computer table.  Meanwhile, Nana and Daddy decided to power wash the decks, our house, some cars and a couple of little chickens running around.  Now - to just get that little boy here...



Abby: "You know where I wanna go?  Hawaii.  Where it's sunny every day."  Me: "That sounds like a great idea."  Abby: "But where would we stay?"  Ellie:  "We could make our own house in the trees with leaves for a roof!"  Abby: "Hmm.  But we would need a lot of driftwood for that." 

Abby, while attempting to play her new violin for the first time: "Look, Mom.  I have to play on the black. (The fingerboard)" Me: "Well, really we need to stay between the black and the bridge."  Abby: "No.  You see, I have a solo in my head and it only sounds good if I play on the black."  Later, Abby: "Mom, do you like my pizzicato?"

Ellie: "Mom, I want to watch a show."  Me: "Okay - after you pick up your books."  Ellie: "But, my arms really hurt.  And a show makes them feel better."

Ellie: "Mom, I want you to wipe my bum."  Me: "Ellie, you know that's your job."  Ellie: "Mom, the first rule is that you HAVE to wipe someone's bum.  And the second rule is that you have to wash your body all over in the bath.  Then, the third rule is that you have to clean up your clothes.  The fourth rule is that you have to wipe my bum.  The fifth rule is that we have to go eat some lunch.  The sixth...... The thirteenth rule: You HAVE to wipe my bum!"

Ellie: "Can I watch a movie?" Me: "Remember - I don't know how to work the DVD player with the new TV."  Ellie: "How about if you just try your best."

Abby, while discussing when we can move out of our "boring old house":  "But, how would we move the chairs and table?"  Me: "We'd put them on a moving truck."  Abby: "But what if they get insects on them?" Me: "Oh, they wouldn't."  Abby: "Because you would spray pesticides on them?"

Ellie, approaching me seriously with a clipboard and a "note" she had written: "Mom, this is for if you find an adult and you can tell them it's for Release-y Sitey and they can bring the cookies and the chicken if their arms get too tired."

Ellie, at breakfast: "Mom, I don't want to eat these eggs - it tastes like a carcass."

Ellie, to me: "I don't understand how grumpy you are.  I don't understand how grumpy we all are - Mommy, Daddy, Abby, me."  Abby: "I am NOT grumpy!"

Ellie, inspecting Abby's sun glasses through her own: "Abby, you are not fashion."

Abby: "Remember, Dad, you said we were going to go tennis racking?" 

Abby sat at the table to eat lunch with a child-sized apron on.  Ellie: "Oh, nice cooking bra, Abby!"

Ellie: "I know where Egypt is.  It's in Corsilian."

Ellie: "Mom, do you know what state koalas like to live in?"  Me: "Yes - in Australia."  Ellie: "Good point.  But they really live in Mexico."

Abby: "Mom, can you earwax my ears?" Later, "Ouch! You brammed my eardrummer!"

Ellie: "a Carmical is a little bird so small you can't even see it and it lives in Africa."

While waiting to cross into Canada, I asked the girls: "Where do you think that truck is going?" Abby: "Algeria."

Ellie reading scriptures: "What did Angel Moroni do to himself? He was a boy and he was not good enough. So then he became an angel. He went from his father as far as he could. So do not lose Angel Moroni." 

Abby: "When will I be a mom? Me: "When you get married." Abby: "But when will I find a little proper boy?"

Abby to Ellie, while in the other room "trying on" swimsuits: "But Mom will recognize me without my panties on." Ellie: "It's okay - she won't recognize your nakey bunsies with a swimsuit on them."

Ellie: "I want to go to Mexico." Me: "What's in Mexico?" E: "I think Daddy's friends are there."

Me, bribing the girls: "You two get dessert if you behave in the store." Abby: "We have to be good and if we don't get in trouble and don't get told - we get some?" Me: "Yes." A: "Woah. That'll be hard."

Abby, as I got ready for my baby shower: "So, a baby shower is a kind of birthday party for moms who only care about babies?"

Ellie: "I want a pet." Me: "You have your turtle Dooga" E: "She's a toy!" Me: "We're going to have a baby brother." E: "He's a baby-not a pet! Humans are humans, toys are toys, pets are pets and ants are ants."

Me: "Girls, today is our last day to be a family with just the girls and daddy because brother comes tomorrow. Let's have a happy day okay?" Abby: "Mom, you can't have brother tomorrow - it's Sunday." Me: "There are lots of things you can do on Sunday and having a baby is okay." Abby: "No, you don't understand what 'anything' means - you can't do ANYTHING on Sundays."