Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Dirty Day...

No reason for this post other than I am kinda bored. Believe it or not. The middle kids are outside playing, Jon is reffing a soccer game, Cam is asleep, and my big boys are at friend's houses. I can't wash clothes or dishes. I can't cook. *I can't pack boxes. I can't really do anything. Ok, sweeping and dusting. But, that's mucho boringo. Why, you ask? We have been without water for about 6 hours. What does come out of the tap looks like diarrhea. Sorry, but it's true. I was gonna make homemade mashed potatoes with dinner- no water. I can't even make baked ones- no water to clean them with. I can't make anything that requires water, not even mac-n-cheese. Dang it. Not sure what to make now... Sandwiches anyone? And, I don't know how you are when the water is off for unexplainable reasons, but I really want to take a shower and I'm not even that dirty. Uggh... life in the "country" sorta sucks. And, that's all. I'm just trying to figure out what to do til someone either wakes up or comes home to play with me. Maybe I'll go for a walk, up and down the driveway since Cam is sleeping. Maybe we'll grab takeout and head to the park. Hmmmm...

the offensive "water"

*we are currently in the process of readying the house for sale, yikes! Wish us luck!

Monday, April 26, 2010

It's the small stuff...

I am truly thankful for oh so many things and as I get older I realize more and more just how blessed I really am. I mention this every time I pray and occasionally make a public declaration via Facebook or Blogger. But, I don't take near enough time to express my thanks for the small stuff- until now. I am thankful for:

Target brand baby wipes- fresh smelling, inexpensive, and just as good as the name brand. A must have for a messy spitter upper like Camden. They do a pretty darn good spit shine on counters and coffee tables too.

Duncan Hines chocolate chunk brownies- chocolate, chunks, warm, ooey-gooey, mmm. Another must have for a harried mom of 5. As a matter of fact the mere consumption of too many of these bad boys and I will never be a mother of 6. Brownies as birth control, who knew?

Johnson and Johnson cucumber melon scented baby bath, lotion, and powder- yummy smelling for this baby of mine and me. Said powder also does a darn good job of taming the greasies. Since I rarely have time to wash and dry my hair anymore. Camden is afraid of the blow drier now anyways...

Elsie and Daisy (my boobies)- they enabled my baby to add 10 pounds to his birthweight by 6 months of age as well as provide a nice warm pillow for him to sleep on. Amen.

My iPhone- I just love it so. I have my scriptures, every church hymn, every church manual, and some conference talks on there. In addition to maps that know I'm standing in my kitchen, to all sorts of fun games and nifty apps. So stinkin' fun and worth every penny. I <3 you iPhone.

My sense of humor- I am just glad I can laugh at myself and occasionally at others. There are days when a sense of humor is all I got against this wacky life of mine. I'm not really sure where I got it from but I love it! It makes me smile when people tell me I crack them up :)

Gerber puffs in assorted flavors- these little flavored rice puffball thingys have enabled me to grocery shop, attend church classes, and blog. Camden loves them. Thank You Gerber!

earbuds- this goes without saying if you are a mom of teenagers. They can't hear me nag or the baby cry. As long as I can get their attention by throwing a rubber flip flop or couch cushion at them, we're good.

concealer- any brand will do, as long as it's one shade lighter than the dark circles I have been sporting since 1990. Lately a dash of baby powder to my scalp, chapstick on my pout, and a smidge of concealer and look out world! However, I may need to step up my game. Today Chloe told me she was embarrassed to be seen with me since I was wearing no makeup and my hair was flippy. She said I looked like a soccer mom... As if!?

French vanilla yogurt with vanilla almond granola mixed in- yummy, crunchy, and sorta healthy. Right? Right? Ok, go easy on the granola and you should be ok...

So there you have it, my current can't live withouts. Feel free to add more of your can't live withouts under comments. I can always use a new product to obsess over.

Friday, April 23, 2010


I am a little bit OCD about certain things, one of those being my kids and their personal hygiene. I can't force them to bathe... Ok, I can. But, if they want to smell bad, it's not my problem. Now, Camden has no choice. I bathe him every single day, sometimes twice a day. He seems to smell fresh for 5 minutes each day and then the rest of the day it's baby food or spit up smell, yuck! I have a ritual every time I bathe him too. After I have soaped him up from head to toe (toenails and fingernails with a nail brush too) I rinse him, dry him, Q-tip his ears and nose, powder his bum and then I rub him down with lotion. I did this with all the kids until they were about 18 months. Then, they become such a handful I do what I can to de-funkify them. When they are around 3 or 4 they kinda do their own thing with me or Jon supervising. At 5 they decide they want to shower. And, I know for a fact that they don't use as much soap or shampoo as I would like them to nor do they get all the cracks and crevices like I would want them to either. Which brings me to the point of this post. Today, as I was bathing Camden to go on a lunch date with me and my friends I had a flashback of one such incident when Hayden was 6 or so. We had his yearly checkup one morning and the night before I had him shower. I laid out clean clothes and undies- the whole shebang. I Q-tipped his ears and made sure he was nice and shiny before his doctor appointment. The next morning we were rushing around to get ready and it never occurred to me to do a hygiene inspection. We barely made it on time and before you knew it they called us in for our turn with the cute little Asian female doctor. We got in the room and the doctor was asking me about Hayden's progress with school, his eating habits, and his poopy habits- like did he ever get constipated etc. I of course said no, never. Hayden is my "like clockwork every single day after school go poop kid". She proceeds to do his physical exam and lastly goes to check "his business" and to my horror right there in his Power Ranger underwear was a 3D skid mark... I'm not sure but I think after I died of embarrassment I called my insurance company and requested a PCP change. I mean really? Can't kids feel those in their pants? And, I may be wrong here but it seems to be a trend with little boys. Man was I ever mortified... I'm not really sure why that memory jumped in my head today but it did. I also hope Hayden never decides to read my blog and if he does I hope he keeps his sense of humor intact! And, that goes down in my history of unforgettable you wish they'd never happened moments as a mother.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

18 tidbits about my 18 year old

In honor of Chandler's 18th birthday, I have compiled a list of 18 things I want to always remember about him and his childhood. These are just but a few of the funny, neat or just plain silly things he has done over the years. Like the time he sneezed on a brand newborn Hunter or when I caught him drinking his prescription bubble gum flavored antibiotic with a crazy straw as if it were no big deal... I sure hope the internet stays put, since I don't wanna forget all this. I am getting old, ya know!?

1. The first morning I woke up at home with my new baby Chandler, I couldn't find him. He was under the covers next to my feet. Not sure how he got down there. We had been nursing and sleeping, or so I thought... I have since perfected the art of co-sleeping, either with my hubby or my kiddos.

2. I was gonna name him Chandler Mackensie- regardless of gender. I picked his first name from a magazine article about a guitar player named Chandler who went by Chan. This same guitar player is now in the band Blues Traveler. I later saw the name in a book, The Prince of Tides. This time it was a little girl named Chandler and I knew then that my baby would be named Chandler.

3. Chandler has always been a big boy. I would often get scolded by nosy people for giving him binkies and bottles when he was so big. People thought he was closer to 4 when he was really only 2. He weighed 50 pounds when he was 2!

4. His first word was BEAST, he was about 10 months old. At the time his favorite movie was Beauty and the Beast. He used to take his binky out, say BEAST and then stick it back in.

5. Barney the big purple dinosaur was hugely popular when Chandler was little. He started out crawling like a baboon with his butt in the air and when he finally learned to walk, he would walk like Barney. Or in other words- stomp around like a dinosaur.

6. Chandler has always been a master at making messes. He was always getting into trouble with ooey gooey substances. Once, he tried to cram oatmeal in the VCR. He also cracked eggs on the TV, which made a nice little scramble on the wood grain. Other favorites- smearing butter on the kitchen floor and more than once emptying an entire container of baby powder. So not fun to clean.

7. He used to love to walk with me and his aunts to our grandma's house. Once there he would put on her slippers and get into her chair where he would feast on peanuts and homemade chocolate chip cookies. This snack would be accompanied by a Diet Coke, with a straw. When she passed away, he asked for her slippers- and he got them.

8. Chan is my kiddo of quirky Halloween costumes. A few of my favorites: Hamburglar and one year he was a Rastafarian, complete with dreads and dark brown skin. I am not sure what I mixed together to make him "black" but it was pretty dang cute.

9. Chandler is super duper crazy smart. He has taken the gifted talented test at school EVERY year since 2nd grade and every year he fails on purpose. He doesn't want to be grouped with the gifted kids and he most certainly doesn't want to have to do more homework than absolutely necessary.

10. He has been in 4 spelling bees, from 2nd to 6th grades. He won 3 of them at the school level and then immediately bombed at the district level. Two words that I remember him messing up on- neighborhood and fauna. Weird what we remember as moms huh?

11. Chandler was afraid of big in ground swimming pools for years and years and it wasn't until after he was 10 or so that he would leave the steps or side of the pool even though he towered above the top of the water. Funny thing is, now he spends more time in our pool than any of us.

12. He LOVES ketchup! More than any other edible substance on Earth. Like, it's a freakin' tragedy if we are out of ketchup. I gifted him with a basket of 18 different varieties for his birthday. He'll eat it on everything from burgers to egg rolls to pizza.

13. He once broke my sister Kelli's cat's pelvis by closing it in a drawer. It only cost $200 bucks to stick a balloon up the cat's butt to fix it....

14. He used to love to color so much. He had a special name for the crayons and to this day I can't figure out the connection. He called them gobies. So cute!

15. He has good taste in friends! He has about 6 close friends who are REDHEADS! It's gotta have something to do with his mom being a redhead. Ok, maybe they're drawn to his red beard. I am hoping for redheaded grandchildren!

16. One of his favorite things to do with his grandpa was "ghost hunting". My dad would drive him around at night to all the areas in town that had long winding roads or little to no street lights and they would "hunt for ghosts".

17. He has not acclimated to driving as well as he would like to. Case in point- he recently drove my van to pick Hunter up from a friend's house and he hit a brick mailbox with my bumper. He used black nail polish, black craft paint and an old pair of boxer shorts to repair the damage. He was genuinely shocked when we figured it out.

18. He gets panicky when he's sick or super sun burnt. His one cure all-to walk around buck naked. That crazy kid has surprised more than one person walking around in the buff....

And one to grow on- He told us today that he wants to be an astronaut. This child of mine who vomited when he got a hair on his toothbrush, and when he smelled a bad fart, and when he saw the dog eat a poopy diaper. This same kid who is not too thrilled with roller coasters wants to be an ASTRONAUT?!

Oh brother....

On my Chan-Man

I have been wanting to sit down and blog about Chandler for quite some time, but haven't really had a ton of time to devote to the kind of post I wanted to do. I am determined to get this finished before dawn... Way back in March, Chandler celebrated his 18th birthday. Which, is a huge milestone for so many reasons: he is legally considered an adult now, he can vote, he's old enough to work at Target (score), etc etc. But, the biggest milestone for me personally was that I never imagined I could raise a kid, let alone get one to adulthood. And yes, I know he is barely an adult.

I am not sure how many of you guys that read this know that Chandler has a different father, whom he has never met and that I met his step-dad Jon (who is HIS DAD, regardless of genetics) when he was almost 3. Yes, I was a "single" mom although I did live with my sisters and my parents. I was responsible for his care as much as I physically, emotionally, and financially could- whenever I could. I mainly relied on backup from my sisters because I didn't want my parents to think I couldn't handle a kid, my kid. You see, I had only been 17 for a few short months whenever I got pregnant. I was a statistic- an unwed, pregnant teenager. I was also nearly 16 weeks along before I even found out I was expecting. I strongly suspected it, but was in massive denial and didn't really know where or whom to turn to. It wasn't until I finished up a session at Summer school that I had a few of my friends drive me to a free clinic in Dallas. I pretty much knew I was pregnant, I just needed confirmation. As if the sore breasts, nausea, and terrible exhaustion weren't a big enough clue. So silly, but I remember giving a fake name in case the nurse at the clinic decided to tattle on me. Once I found out I kept it between me, my sisters, and my friends who took me to the clinic. I had always known that I wasn't meant to be your typical young adult, I had felt it since I was a little girl. I just didn't know what my future held- but I was about to find out, quick! I managed to keep my secret for a few weeks and it wasn't until a huge fight with my mom did the cat jump out of the bag. I was terrified of what my dad would say/think. Instead, I think for the first time in several years a light seemed to shine on our family. Little did I know what joy, hope, and happiness he would bring to all of us. Which is what brings me to this post- Chandler's 18th birthday is such a huge milestone because he came into this world 2 weeks after I turned 18. I could go on and on about my life thus far with the Chanster, but I won't. Simply put, yes there were and will continue to be hard days. But, for every hard moment there have been a thousand more awesome ones. I will say that I was headed down the wrong path, doing all kinds of foolish crap and I 100% believe that Chandler saved my life and came into this world when I and my family needed it most. He is such a cool, awesome, smart, funny, quirky kid and I am alot proud and truly honored that he picked me to be his mommy.

gettin' his hair did

me (19) and Chan (1)

Senior night at his school (back in October)

me and Chan and Cam on his 18th birthday (sorta blurry)

Sunday, April 18, 2010


I smell like Gerber vegetable beef dinner, spit up, and vanilla lotion

I have one boob supported by my bra and the other one is free-fallin'

Camden is playing with a pair of sunglasses, a calculator, and a trial size deodorant

I am playing 8 games of Words with Friends and I am losing most of them- one on purpose

I have 2 quarters waiting to be disinfected on my kitchen sink. Chloe put them in Cam's diaper as a joke and he of course pooped...

I'm trying to make myself clean the garbage off the back porch. I caught a real life coyote eating through a bag of trash last night...

I am super bummed that I missed church today :( Camden screamed his head off from 12 to 4 and it was AWFUL. I was way too exhausted to even get out of bed til after 11- dang it...

I'm crossing my fingers that Jon finishes his "sabbatical" soon, because I need a break

I'm taking being the mom of a tween girl moment by moment

I'm SO THANKFUL that my boys are soooo laid back, whew

My floors are so dirty, I'm truly embarrassed

I'm in the middle of planning Chan's graduation hoopla and festivities. Darn it, that kid CANNOT be a Senior already!

I'm kinda sorta thinking Cam might want a sibling/baby brother/playmate ;)

I'm about to go bang my head on the ground for making the above statement

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Totally OK and Not So Fast...

Hey, it's totally ok to:

nurse your baby after feeding him/her baby food. Contrary to popular belief, sweet potatoes and peas ARE good for your areolas!

walk around with a booger on your cheek. You can always blame it on that sweet hug one of your children just gave you and not on the fact that you just sneezed into your elbow. What? You WERE trying to avoid spraying one million snot droplets into the already contaminated air at Walmart.

share a spoon with AND eat after your baby but not your school age children. He suckles at your breast and the memory of his descent from the birth canal is still fresh in your mind, while those older children of yours are entering puberty and they attend public school. Gross!

let your toddler chew on your daily wear flip flops but have a mini heart attack if he/she even thinks about crawling on the floor at the pediatrician's office. The germs on your shoe are from your house (mostly) while the doctor's office floor is germ soup...

dress your kiddos to the nines while you look like something the cat wouldn't even touch with a 10 foot pole let alone drag in.

go 5 days without washing your hair. I did hear the "wet look" might make a comeback, maybe...

resurrect your day old makeup (that you slept in) with a little bit of concealer and fresh makeup. Work it girl!

stick yesterday's clothes in the dryer with a Bounce dryer sheet AFTER you spiff them up with a wet rag first. After all you did look sorta cute and there just might be a dried booger on the sleeve of your shirt.

give your baby an unplugged small electronic to play with while you try to blog... I may or may not have done this. Ok, it was a clock and it was unplugged!

wash 17 loads of laundry in one week but not fold a single sock

Not so fast:

Mom jeans aren't hot- ever! I don't care what InStyle magazine says. They're just goofy and yes they do make you look fat!

If your bra strap is riding up between your shoulder blades it's too small! You either need a new bra or a breast reduction. Hint- bras are cheaper, easier on the eyes and alot less painful!

Never go to bed without brushing your teeth. Trust me. Yes, it has happened to me recently and it was after consuming garlic and cheese. All I have to say is- cat turd breath.

I don't care what you may think- NO ONE'S grass is greener. Please please please take this to heart. I have to tell myself this often. It may seem like your problems are worse than anyone on Earth, but they're not. Everyone has issues, problems, and concerns. They're either mental or much better at hiding crap than you.

Don't rough-house with a freshly bathed or fed baby. He/she will projectile vomit all over you and his/her freshly bathed self. This has happened to me no less than ten times a day the last 7 months and I STILL haven't learned my lesson.

Don't put off knowing what you are going to wear, how long it will take you to get ready and possible traffic jams. You will be late, you always are. Oh wait. That's what I've been meaning to write on my bathroom mirror- sorry :p

And, there you have it. A small sampling of the do's and don'ts of Mommyhood according to Ashley!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I've lost that blogging feeling...

I really miss my blog so so much. It bums me out that I no longer have time for it. And, I've tried- I really have. I even gloated in my last post that I was gonna get back into blogging full force... It seems since then that life got even more hectic, if that's even possible. I've also gotten out of the habit. Plus, I honestly feel as if I have nothing good or funny or interesting to say, dangit. I mean, my older kids are to the point where they are gone with friends or texting or yelling at me so there's no blog material there. Hayden still says some dang funny crap and does cute stuff but when you're out of the habit of blogging it just gets tucked into your memory instead of on the computer. I'm not gonna say I'm taking a break- wouldn't wanna cause anyone to roll their eyes at me! But, I will say that I would really like to pick it back up again I just don't know if I'll be able to. Honestly, my hats off to those of you who find time to update and make me smile! Each morning I hit the floor running and work away at laundry and little bits of exercise and chores. Plus, I spend a ton of time playing and cuddling with Camden. We try and venture out to the park or shopping or lunch with friends a few times a week. But really my days are jam packed and there are only so many hours in a day. However, in the Spirit of Ashley I am gonna do A LIST!

Reasons Why I Never Blog Anymore

1) I do at least 3 loads of laundry a day which takes a ton of time and sucks royally...

2) My entire family is sharing one computer (6 people x 1 computer = no blogging)

3) I have a 7 month old baby who is already pulling up, crawling, and generally being a big handful!

4) I have been preparing a big home cooked meal every night and it takes me at least 2 hours between the baby and preparation not to mention cleanup and whatnot. Ugh! Remind me why family dinner is important again?!

5) I am cheating on my blog with Facebook. It's express blogging! Much faster and easier and like 10 times the comments :)

6) I've been spending a little bit of time exercising, which is much better for my butt than the desk chair.

7) I am having a love affair with my iPhone and this nifty game called Words with Friends. It's superb!

8) I've lost the knack! I 100% think I am way too boring for blogging words... Really, I don't know what to blog about anymore

9) I let myself get out of the habit, unfortunately.

10) If I'm gonna take time to do something for myself it's not gonna be on the computer. I'm gonna read a book or get a pedicure or something.

11) Having a much desired baby come into an already hectic, nutty, household has kicked my butt- but good! I have said that before but I don't think anyone realizes unless you have a kid who is crying, nursing, getting into crap or whining to be held. Plus, his 30 minute naps unless he's on his mom's tittay are also a factor. If I ever get pregnant again... so help me Lord.

12) My stomach problems. I finally had an ultrasound today and hope it shows what's wrong. If not I have to go in for an endoscopy. There are days when I have a million things planned but if my tummy is acting up I barely leave the couch or get to eat. Case in point- I recently lost 7 pounds in 5 days.

I think that pretty much sums it up. I reallyreallyreally love my blog and I love to read all of my friend's blogs but there just aren't enough hours in the day. Keep checking mine and I'll keep checking yours ;) I may just surprise you one day and update this bad boy. I love all of y'all to bits and I am so so grateful for the friendships, memories, and support that have been born since I started blogging. Muah!

a recent "project"- one current pic of each kiddo (wait, how did I have time to do that??)

Monday, April 5, 2010

Miss Me, Miss Me...

now you gotta kiss something??
Anyway- I bet you are as shocked as I am that I am actually blogging... I really do miss it and updating is always in the back of my mind, but I am just so busy all the time. However, now that Camden is trying to grow up on me and be alot more independent I might actually have time to blog! Sounds crazy I know, but in the last 10 days he has finally developed a taste for baby food and learned to sit up, crawl, and pull up! Yes, I realize he will be into everything but he won't be overly clingy and wanting to nurse every hour and be held constantly. I have tried for months to figure out why he constantly spits up and is fussy between his every hour nursing sessions (in addition to several other symptoms) and I finally think I know what it is! Read here. Basically I am making too much of the sugary first milk and not enough of the fatty hind milk (that satisfies him longer) which means he is hungry and gassy and has every other symptom listed except for frequent diaper rashes. It has been very frustrating simply because not only was I not used to a baby in the house but none of my other kiddos were this clingy and fussy. But, now that he is relying on three mini meals of baby food a day and can move all around the house (so far he's staying in the living room) he is much less cranky and A TON of fun! Which for me means- I can have my life back! If only for a little while. Until he's trying to dive off the couch or open the cabinets for pots to bang on or maybe go fishing in the toilet. He is a momma's boy though which drives Jon nuts so when I do get to take a nice looong bath or get on the computer, it's never for very long.... but we'll get there- I think! I can't promise I'll post daily but I am gonna try.