Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Cherry Blossom Festival

Chuck's sister, Amy and her family came to DC for two days to check out the Cherry Blossom Festival. We loved the beautiful Cherry Blossom trees lining the Tidal Basin. It's an amazing site that is hard to explain and is awesome to see in person. The weather was absolutely gorgeous and it wasn't as crowded as I thought it was going to be.Chuck proposed to me 6 1/2 years ago while walking around the tidal basin. It was fun to remember that day (actually it was the middle of the night in December, so not quite the same, but still fun) and look at our family now.
We had such a great day hanging out with the Dittbrenners. We also had a picnic on Haines Point in the East Potomac Park. Leland slipped at the playground, falling through one of those arched ladder things and gave herself a nice black eye. Poor girl.
Our second day in DC, we went to the National Zoo. Not a fun day, at all. On the way to the zoo, Leland got sick in the car and threw up. Gross. Then, I threw up while cleaning her off. Gross again. When Chuck called Amy who was in the other car to tell her, she kept saying, "April Fools! Ha Ha!" After the fourth time trying to tell her it wasn't a joke, he hung up on her and she finally realized it was for real.

We decided to continue to the zoo, which was probably not the best idea. Parking was horrendous. It was crazy crowded and HOT. I think I only saw two animals and they were both very, very far away with their backs turned to us. But the zoo did have some of the nicest empty animal pens we have ever seen. The joke was that there really are no animals there and all the people pay $10-$15 an hour to park to try to see the animals that really aren't there. We didn't pay to park in their lots, instead we chose to take over an hour to find free parking on the street. I think the parking ordeal took longer than we actually stayed at the zoo.

Chuck and I caught a stomach flu and were sick all day. We both threw up a few times that day and felt horribly. Proof of how out of it we really were is that we did not take any pictures. Not one picture all day long. Totally unlike us. That just proves how crumby we were feeling.

Sunday, March 28, 2010


Nothing like a hole in your bumper to ruin your Spring Break. sucks. Minor accident. No one was hurt. Still sucks.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Egg Hunt + Art Fest

Our weekend in NC was packed full of activities. Along with the princess party, we had an Easter Egg hunt at my mom's church building. We also had lots of Nana reading time and playing with cousins. Leland loves the little ones. She loves making them smile and laugh.We headed to East Carolina University for a kids ArtFest that was unbelievable. I'm so glad that my mom found out that it was going on. The whole courtyard was full of different art tables - musical instruments for the kids to try, face painting, a TON of different unique crafts to make (welding, bottle cap necklaces, clay pottery, and much more). They had live music playing and a bounce house. All the kids had such a blast and best of all it was free.For the face painting, Leland chose a butterfly on her cheek and Lucy chose to be a blue dog. My girls favorite thing we did was trying the instruments - Lucy did really well on the violin and Leland liked the clarinet the best.

Princess Party

My mother's friend often hosts Princess Parties to try teach little girls to be "polite as a princess." I think my girls were in awe and overwhelmed, but still had a good time. They learned manners, how to sit like a princess, posture, and other things. Leland is still talking about walking gracefully and taking small bites of food, "just like a princess."

It was especially fun to have cousins there too.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Irish Festival + Flying Kites

Last weekend we headed to Church Hill for the Irish Festival. We enjoyed watching kids' Irish dancing, pipes and drums, a harp concert, checked out lots of craft booths, and did some dancing of our own.We love going out with the girls and taking them to fun activities. I had Charly in the baby wrap and Lucy on a leash - we had a woman walking past say, "Wow! You're brave out here with three kids. Way to go!" It was crowded, but fun. We came and left at great times. By the time we left, it was shoulder to shoulder people, most of them holding open cups of beer that I was sure was going to spill on one the girls' heads as we pushed our way through the people. Luckily we made it out without a beer shower.
A little Irish jig, to not-so-Irish music.

After we left the festival we went to the top of Church Hill by Chimborazo Park. It was a nice view, although it will be prettier once all those winter brown trees are green again. It was a windy day and Chuck mentioned it would be good for flying a kite. We happened to have a kite in the trunk. The girls loved it.Leland was a little nervous letting out the kite too high. At one point Lucy lost grip of the handle and Leland had to chase down the kite. It stayed in the air and she was able to grab the handle. Both girls were so funny trying to "catch" the kite as the wind died. Charly, as always, chilled in the stroller gnawing on her big toe. It was such a fun family Saturday.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Woman at the Well

The last 2 weeks or so, my life has been consumed in preparing for a musical presentation for church. I know, what some of you are thinking....musical??? Ashley is not musical! Well, I actually put together a slide show of pictures of Jesus Christ to go along with the songs that were sung.It was a program of song and narration called Women at the Well by Kenneth Cope. The songs were about some women who were touched by the Savior's life (woman touching robe to be healed, Lazarus' sisters, young girl healed, Jesus' mother Mary, a woman in the Americas during the resurrection, 10 virgins). It was AWESOME! Everyone did such a fabulous job. For 2 weeks, listening to these songs over and over and trying to get the right pictures to match the words of each song was very powerful. It was wonderful to recall the miracles that Jesus did and the miracles that he can do for each of us today. With Easter coming up, it was also a wonderful reminder of the atoning sacrifice that He made for me, that he died for my sins, and that was the greatest miracle and gift of all.

I feel truly blessed to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The knowledge and comfort that it gives me to know of how much my Heavenly Father and brother, Jesus Christ love me. It also has granted me the opportunity to know all of these wonderful women.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

ticking time bomb

I feel like I'm walking around with a ticking time bomb, named Lucy. At any moment she might pee or poop her pants. I made the switch to underwear and I'm refusing to buy any more pull-ups for her. So far the only accidents have been at home.

There are two reasons a mother will know at all times where the closet bathrooms are - when pregnant and when potty training. While out running errands today, at every stop, we hit the bathroom twice. Lucy has yet to tell me that she needs to go potty, but if I'm vigilant about getting her there she'll go.

Fun times!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Growing Up

We keep teasing Leland that she just needs to stop growing. I'm amazed by her maturity in some (not all) situations. She has been reading for a while now and can pick up most kids books and start reading, if she is in the mood. The other morning, I came into the room and she was "reading" to Charly. That's an interesting choice to be reading to your baby sister.
Leland helped me make an assortment of flower hair clips for a friend's birthday party that she went to this weekend. The party was at Inflation Nation which has all sorts of bounce houses. She had a blast. Leland is on this eating salad kick. She also requires that her salad be in a mommy and daddy bowl and eaten with a big fork.

While Charly and I took Leland to the birthday party, Chuck and Lucy went for a daddy-daughter date to Chuck-E-Cheese and for ice cream. In other news, Lucy went all day in underwear today with no accidents. She wakes up dry most mornings, so she went to sleep in underwear too. Could be a choice I'll regret. Just a shout out to my awesome sisters (and bro-in-law) who get phone calls from Lucy throughout the day about going poop or pee in the potty and they get really excited for her. I wish they could see her beaming eyes when they talk about how proud they are of her.

The clincher for getting her to go potty - not candy, but computer time. Her site of choice here.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Nana and Zebra

Last weekend, my mom and Aunt Barbara came to visit. We have never taken either of them to Maymont, so we thought it was about time. Leland toured the mansion with the two of them. The mansion was preparing for a week of Tea Parties, so tea sets decorated every table and party dresses were on display. Leland thought that was really neat. She also apparently helped give tour information that she remembered from a previous tour and shared with the group that she has a cousin named Afton when they were discussing the local Afton Mountains. She is so grownup sometimes and has no fear of talking in front of people she doesn't know.

We also checked out the Nature Center and Children's Farm. At the Nature Center, one of the animal caretakers was so sweet to Leland. He tried to get the river otters to 'play' with her and he brought out an otter pelt to cheer her up after falling and hurting herself. Then when he needed to feed some of the fish, he came and got her so she could watch. He had to distract the bully snapping turtle with a large piece of lettuce so he wouldn't eat the fish food.Thanks for coming to visit. We love having visitors.

Lani and Suzie – you are the only two sisters left that need a Richmond tour. So… when are you coming?

Monday, March 1, 2010

Tongue and Toes

Our baby is 8 months old. Her little personality is shining through. She loves attention and gets pretty upset when she is not getting any. She's finally sitting up on her own and that has helped her be content to just sit and play. She wasn't too fond of the bumbo and many times would squirm her way out of it.

Her smile just lights me up and her blue eyes melt my heart. She loves sticking her tongue out. It's always just hanging out. She lets out these big belly laughs when you tickle her or when her big sisters play peek-a-boo with her.
She's still an itty-bitty little thing, but that sure does make it easier on me carrying her around. She's not really in to eating food. I can barely get her to eat half of a small jar of baby food a day. But come on, who wants to eat baby food when you can just suck on your toes instead.