Thursday, November 12, 2015

Fall Food, Fun and Surprises

Why has it become so cliché to love fall?  I think it all has to do with UGGS and Pumpkin Spice Lattes…together they've ruined it for all of us.   Although it’s just starting to be in the 60’s here during the day,  we’ve been FALL’in out for a good while now. 

I love making soups and hearty dinners now that the evenings are cooler, I love warm weather clothes…they’re my favorite. I love to layer! I do love pumpkin treats just not the infamous PSL.  We’ve made pumpkin bread, pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and of course pumpkin pancakes.  I love starting a good bonfire which automatically (according to Lars) means s’ there such a thing as pumpkin s'mores?

Also, when the weather got cooler our chickens finally laid their first egg! So very exciting.  We’ve had these ladies for 7 months and they’ve gotten so big and Lars has been sort of patiently waiting for the much anticipated egg.  

November is always exciting around here.  It's Bob's birthday month, my birthday month and Thanksgiving which mean Nana comes to visit! And then before we know it it's Christmas. So there's always a lot of festivity happening.  If we're not celebrating a birthday we're gearing up for Thanksgiving and then getting ready for Christmas.  It's always fun! 

Here are some of the fabulous fall recipes I've been making
Butternut Squash and Sage Soup (recipe here) I added a little heavy cream and it was super yummy. 
Spaghetti and 'meat'balls (recipe here) This is Lars' favorite meal. He asks almost every day. 

We visited Sweet Berry Farm's pumpkin patch which never ever disappoints.  It's just so much fun! They have so much to do. 

We have gotten SO. MUCH. RAIN. lately.  I know we need it but the way it works in Texas is that it doesn't rain for 10 months then it pours and floods for 2 weeks straight.  Our poor dirt road has been washed out a few times in the passed few months and we were actually 'trapped' in for a while because the creek behind our property overflowed and broke through the small dam and completely flooded our road.  It looked like a river.  Lars has been washed off with a hose more times in a month than in his entire life.  He must find peace in getting muddy.

And for Halloween, Lars asked me in August if he could be a BOOberry (a scary blueberry).  I said, 'yes, of course' then passed the idea off to my super creative seamstress Aunt Ann and this is this end result.  Y'all, this kid makes me lose my mind.  He's amazing.

Lars and his bff Avi trick or treating. 

Lars and his beloved baby changes from being a boy/girl daily but the name is always Freddy.   He's got baby fever...luckily it'll be cured next spring!

Friday, September 18, 2015

I've never disagreed more...(my response to a blog post)

I read THIS POST weeks ago and I just couldn’t help but completely and utterly disagree with it. I can’t even sort of get on board with it.  I like to pride myself on being pretty open minded and generally try to see both sides to every story, but this is just crazy to me.
The article is titled Why I Love my Husband More than My Kids. The title alone makes me cringe. It’s a terrible title. Well maybe not…I mean it caught my attention and I read it and now I’m arguing with it, so maybe just maybe it’s a genius title.
She goes on to list reasons why she loves her husband more than her children.  I don’t know this gal, I’m sure she’s a wonderful mother and takes perfectly great care of family but I don’t think I’ve ever disagreed with a blog post more than this one.  I just can’t, for the life me, understand where she’s coming from.
For me, the way I love Bob (my husband) and the way I love my child (Lars, 3) are so different and on such different levels that they are, to me, incomparable. Apples and orange my friends. They can’t be on a list. They can’t be part of a hierarchy. My love for Lars is nurturing, protective, instinctual.  My love for Bob is emotional, romantic and passionate.  The two loves never really collide, ya know?  I just don’t understand how one can compare them and I certainly don’t understand how a mother could say they love one more than the other.
When I look at Lars, maybe he’s playing outside or singing a song, I might tear up because I think, I will forever protect you, Lars with every ounce of my being or maybe I think, I can’t believe how tall you’ve gotten or how much you’ve learned in 3 years on this earth.  When I look at Bob, he’s probably drinking a beer on the patio, I think hmmmm….he looks hot…how many hours till Lars goes to bed or I think, what a lucky lady I am to find somebody that’s completely selfless and takes such excellent care of us.  The love and feelings are just so incredibly different. There is no first or second for me.  There can’t be. It’s impossible.
You can read the article for yourself and see the laundry list of reasons.  I’ve singled out a few and  listed my rebuttal.  It’s not to shame my husband or make him look bad, because he’s honestly the greatest man on the planet, but it’s just to show how bazaar this list is.  And for every nuance I list, I’m certain Bob could list 4 for me.   

– I don’t have to get up in the middle of the night to nurse my husband (and if he were to ask, I could simply tell him “not tonight”).
-       While Bob doesn’t have to be nursed in the middle of the night (and neither does Lars at this point) he does snore and often comes to bed later than me, unintentionally waking me up from my beauty sleep. But I still love him so much.
– The two of us were an “us” before the five of us were an “us”. He came first, and in my opinion, he should remain that way.
-       Fact: we were the 2 of us before we were the 3 of us but the needs of my husband and the needs of my toddler are incomparable and I try to take care of them the best that I can.  I can’t even begin to imagine trying to place their needs on a list of who’s first. 
– My husband NEVER says, “I pooped. And it’s really messy. Can you PLEASE just wipe me this one time, and I’ll go back to wiping myself tomorrow? (True story).
-       I’m sure I’m not the only gal who’s lucky enough to have a husband who tells them when they pooped.  Granted I don’t wipe Bob, I’d pick wiping my 3 year old over being anywhere near the bathroom when my husbands in there.
– HE is my voice of reason. The calm to my storm. THEY are my storm.  (Beautiful little storms they are, but storms, nonetheless).
-       Bob is without a doubt the calm to my storm and maybe she’s in the most perfect marriage ever, but Bob has also been my storm as I’m sure I have been his.  Somedays the calm to my storm is getting home and having sticky, blueberry dyed, marker covered little hands wrap around neck.  Somedays it’s having big hands with callouses on them around my waist and a scraggly beard rubbing on my face.
– Quite simply, he is, and pretty much always has been, my favorite person ever. Favorite Person Ever is a hard position to replace.
-       I say all the time that Bob is my favorite person and he is but guess who was also added as a favorite person, Lars.  Together, they are my favorite people.  
– He is my teammate. My partner. We work TOGETHER to love our kids well, raise our kids well, teach our kids well, and enjoy our kids well. But it is HE who remains my partner…not them.
-       Yes! But does that really make you love him more? How?
– “They” (the kids) have RUINED my already, not-that-impressive boobs. HE (contrary to what he may say) is going to be the one who is going to (pay to) FIX my boobs. Unless I change my mind about that.
-       Really?? You love your husband more because you nursed your children and your husband has the ability to pay for new boobs? You lost me there…even more than I was already lost.
– He is my best friend. They are my babies. My little loves. My responsibilities.  My JOB. Blessings. Amazing gifts, designed by God. My heart, walking around on three little sets of legs, yes. But… they aren’t my best friends. They aren’t who I go to relax with, laugh with, vent to, unwind with, and dream with. He is.
-       I agree….with like half of it. Bob is my best friend and Lars is all of those things listed but he’s also my best friend.  Maybe he’s not the friend I go to for advice on home renovations or work stuff but he is absolutely someone I go to to relax with, laugh with (are you kidding, the kid makes me laugh more than anyone else in the world), unwind with and dream with.  He also gives me great advice in what earrings to wear and what to cook.  Can’t I have 2 best friends?

– He gave me them.
    -  Just to clarify and have a feminist moment…..I had to partake in that fiasco also.                    There’s no one else I would have rathered made a baby with.  He HELPED bring the            most beautiful creature into the world.  A creature that taught me an entirely different            kind of love.  A love I had never known. 

Friday, August 7, 2015

Remember These Things, Lars

You're three now and growing up so quickly but please Never Forget:

The days we lay in the hammock and sing songs
To say please and thank you
To be sweet
To be kind
To put the toilet seat down
That you are my star…the reason I breathe…the other part of my heart
The day you laid your hand on my chest and asked if my heart was full of love
To have fun
To play
To hold my hand
To be healthy
To belly laugh
That I may not know the answer to “how much does a finger bone weigh, mama?” but I’ll try my best
That when I lose my cool I don’t love you any less
That on the day you were born a mother was born too…we’re in this together
That you have the best father in the world
That you don't have to repeat EVERYTHING you hear 
To always march to your own beat
To be grateful even when it's hard
Just how much you love to sing...everything's a song
That cats don't necessarily like the bathtub 
To be a good friend
That I love you, very much.  Sometimes it hurts because I love you so much. 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Terrible Two's? HA! They got nothing on Three's.

I'm not even going to address the time gap that has occurred between this post and my last one.  I'm sure you all understand when my excuse is

You know how they call it the terrible two’s?  Well I have something to call the three’s.  The Whiny Threes.  Holy Cow!  I used to brag that Lars wasn’t a whiner but again parenting has made me eat my words and a liar out of me.  I’m certain that on the day he turned 3 he flipped his whining switch to high gear.
Lars is so emotional lately and sometimes I feel I can relate.  When he’s having a moment (they are very often) it seems to be similar to when I have PMS….hear me out.  I’m going to describe something for you and you try to determine if I’m talking about a toddler or PMS:

On edge about everything,  irritated by the slightest thing, whine and cry if someone breathes the wrong way,  can’t make decisions like finding something to wear or deciding on what to eat, being moody… happy one minute and 5 seconds later  gouging someone’s eye’s out.

Can’t tell, right? Well that’s because they are the same exact thing! Three year old melt downs and PMS are the same exact thing.  I’m certain I will be published for discovering this unwavering correlation.

But in all seriousness, this is what it’s like a lot of the time.  For me it’s a few days out of the month for Lars it’s a few times a day.  Sometimes we’ll just be driving in the car and he’ll get so emotional and start whining and I’ll say, “Bubba, are you sad?” and he’ll muster up the strength to say, “yeah, I’m upset” and I’ll say, “ well, why are you so upset” and he’ll (through his tears) say, “I don’t know, mama”  and I think to myself PMS.  I get it dude...let's get some chocolate. That always helps me. 

While there are times that I pat myself of the back for being patient and handling a meltdown like I envision myself to there are equal amount of times that I raise my voice or become impatient and lose my cool and think to myself, Wow! Ash you handled that like another 3 year old. Kudos!

It’s tough.  At times I feel like I have no clue what I’m doing and it’s then that I try to step back and do whatever I’m going to do out of love because in the end, I love him no matter what. I love him so much it makes me crazy.

Even though turning 3 has brought with it some less desirable traits it has also brought with it some of the funniest moments of our lives.  If we’re not dealing with whining and attitude adjustments then we’re laughing our butts off because this kid is outrageously hysterical. 


first carnival experience.  he was pretty into it

taking care of the plants while daddy was away for work. 

picking out plants at the big blue barn.  that outfit. those glasses. 

happens. every. time.  who needs paper anyway

boy loves coconut. coconut anything! 

helping me grocery shop

 little cat holding jake the snake!!

a family that wears hats......

spending lots of time in the pool trying to help him get over his fear of swimming. we're getting there. 

and if you don't already know, we got chickens! they still have a few more weeks before they start laying eggs but they're pretty cute except for their raptor feet. 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

The Ipad has left the building

It’s been a couple of months now since our Ipad went to the Ipad doctor and we found out that it would not be coming back home.  Well, that’s what we told Lars at least. 

Oh the power of the Ipad…

In the past Lars had limited time on it.  I’d set a timer and tell him that when the timer went off so did the Ipad.  I’ll be the first to admit that at times it was a true convenience.   I could set the timer for 15 or 20 minutes and get done what would normally take me millions of hours.  I could prep dinner, put some laundry on, pick up, change sheets and maybe even clean a toilet or 2.  (I never knew how quickly I could get house chores done until I became a mother and until I compared myself to my wonderful and loving yet not so swift husband).  Twenty minutes of free time was golden and having it a couple times a day….hell, I’d have the whole house clean.  But, Bob and I both saw what was happening…the Ipad was becoming way to powerful for our liking. 

The timer was no longer working.  It didn’t matter if the timer went off because when I would walk over to turn the Ipad off and put it away all hell would break loose.  Lars began asking for it constantly and expecting it if I was doing chores or showering.  We tried lessening time on it but it wasn’t really making a difference.  We still got the same reaction when we would take it away. 

So one morning while leaving for work I made sure Lars saw me with the Ipad and I told him that it had broken and I was taking it to the Ipad doctor.  Days went by of him asking and asking and I would tell him that it wasn’t fixed just yet.  After a couple of weeks the asking subsided and I broke the news to him that the Ipad wasn’t able to be fixed.  I expected terror but instead he was just curious about what had happened to it.

Fast forward 2 months later and I can’t remember the last time Lars asked about the Ipad.  I think the last I heard of it was when he was telling someone that it went to the Ipad doctor and wasn’t coming back.

Honestly, I’m so happy we decided to nip that in the bud.  It just wasn’t worth it.  It wasn’t worth the battle or the tears or the frustration.  None of it was worth it. We live on 5 acres.  We have plenty of ‘stuff’ to do and Lars’ imagination is his main entertainment so it just didn’t make sense to have the Ipad and all the trouble that came with it in our lives.  We also erased all games and any kid apps from our phones because it was just too tempting. 

I don’t really think Lars misses the Ipad, although I’m sure if he was somewhere and there was an Ipad he would light up and cut someone just to use it, but I’m not out to shut him off from technology completely, I just want him to really enjoy and be present during this whimsical time of life.  And 20 minutes here and there on the Ipad are 20 minutes here and there that he could be playing outside, making a trashcan a cave or drawing and those are the things that are so precious.   

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

he is three

Well ladies and gents, I now know that I absolutely cannot stop time. I tried really really really hard but at 5:52 AM on Saturday, April 4 Lars turned 3. I unexpectedly woke up around 5:47, rolled over, looked at the clock and then laid there and at 5:52 I looked at the monitor and secretly wished my precious sleeping boy the most wonderful of birthdays and thanked him for being born. *Side note...from about 3 months pregnant on I would wake up between 5:47 AM and 5:55 AM almost every single morning. Some mornings, I'd go back to sleep and others I'd toss and turn but deep down I knew that my baby was going to be born in the wee hours of the morning.

We had a super fun day with family and friends.  We cooked and baked and dyed easter eggs and a certain someone stayed up playing outside waaaaaayyyyy past his bed time and finally conked out around 11 PM.  He got some pretty great gifts. Lincoln Logs, some wooden toy food, a very adorable giraffe who he named Gina, a squirrel and acorn board game, lots and lots of sidewalk chalk, a basketball goal with a BOX...y'all it came in a box, the BEST box evvvverrrrr!!! I think he even forgot that he got a basketball goal. The crown and glory of the birthday gifts was a wooden barn with barn animals.  The boy loves him a good barn. He loves it and we love him.  He's a lucky little boy to have so many people that love him and came to spend the day with him.

Lars only had one request for his birthday.....a strawberry farm cake.  Lo and behold a strawberry farm cake:


I spy little Lars feet...

his barn....with a dolphin in it.  

Birthday Mud.  That's a thing, right? 

We love you, Lars!

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