Sunday, January 31, 2016

iPhone Dump

The kids have swim each week and before their lessons, they play with the chalkboard walls. Amelia practiced her writing "A" and then she went through and circled all of them. So proud of her progress and her writing without me prompting her.
Barrett still naps a few hours each day. I usually lay down with him for a little bit and had to take a picture of sweet little face. Those lashes...those lips...
My sweet little boy doesn't lay still, unless he's napping, so I had to get some of his sweet features.
Jason was working late one night so we took the kids to Hands on Pottery. It's a pottery place in town that you can paint different pieces. The kids painted a Christmas ornament (forgot to do it before Christmas) and I also let them pick something else to paint. Amelia painted a heart bank and Barrett chose a rabbit.
Barrett looked too cute going potty to not get a picture of my wild boy. He's doing such a great job of going on the big boy potty!
Our little ones are growing so fast, some days are harder than others and I'm so thankful that I'm around to document all of our memories.
Love having pictures like these that need "dumped" on our family blog.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Family Member Update

It's been too long since I've done an update on our individual family members. Life is moving right along, kids are growing so big and we're getting closer to being at the end of our crazy journey.
Here are the updates:

Jason:
Poor guy is exhausted--mentally and physically. He is five months away from completing his fellowship and the clinic is doing a good job of teaching him while he is here. He leaves the house most days by 5am and he is home (on average) around 6:30/7:00pm. His passion for what he does is something that has always amazed me because if I was working those hours, I wouldn't have quite the attitude that he does. He is so excited to tell me about an 18 hour case that he did that involved replacing a heart with a mechanical heart and a few other things that I  He's gotten to work with some of the best surgeons and be on cases that are detailed on TV--it's pretty amazing.
He takes his oral boards on March 7th. His written boards were months ago (he passed) and now he has oral boards. This exam is in North Carolina and is pretty difficult and demanding. He will sit in the exam and be quizzed by other doctors and examiners on different cases. He's studying as much as he can but he's pretty nervous.

Ashley:
I've finally figured out a routine that works for my work and the kids. I'm still working full-time from home and juggling school/swim schedules. I've already been speaking with my supervisor and we're pretty certain that when we move to Missouri, I'll quit and move on to something else.  The gym is somewhere where I spend a little of each day. I met a friend, Beth, whose husband works with Jason, and she encourages me to join her for some booty kicking workouts. I feel so much stronger after leaving those classes. I feel like my days are so busy between work, the kids, groceries, cleaning, bills, etc. but when I start writing, it doesn't really feel that busy. Just trust me...okay?

Amelia:
Our almost four year old is an energetic, independent and feisty little lady. She goes to preschool two days a week and she enjoys it but I don't think it's enough for her to really get into "school mode". When we move to Missouri, we are planning on having her go consecutive days, three times a week, so she gets more in the school routine. She is in swim lessons once a week and she is a natural. She is working on swimming across the pool and when she gets tired, she flips over and floats. So amazing to watch her do something she loves. She is always wanting to help cook, do laundry and use teamwork to do the daily chores. She is a daddy's girl and she knows all the right things to say to get what she wants...she's so smart. She still loves to craft and we are practicing writing her name, which isn't as easy of a task as we were hoping. She's at such a fun age and we have some great, memorable conversations.

Barrett:
Our almost two-and-a-half year old has double the energy of his older sister and refuses to get any special "baby" treatment during our daily routine. He's getting so vocal at telling us when he is hungry, tired, warm/cold or when he is angry. I love hearing his little voice tell me about his day or recreating a story that he heard. He is in swim lessons once a week and he enjoys it but would much rather watch his sister than join in the fun. He has been promoted to the next level and he's doing so good, when he listens to his instructor. He wants to be the clown of the group so sometimes he's instructor has his hands full. He's potty trained and we couldn't be more proud. I'm so happy to have less diapers in the house (we still use them for #2 and for bedtime). Barrett loves animals and his puppies are his favorite! He idolizes his sister and always asks for her when she is at school--he often begs to go to school with her too. He's a pretty amazing little man that brings so much life and energy to our family.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

What We've Been Up To

We booked our trip to Missouri to look at houses. We are going to take Amelia with us so she can "pick out her and Barrett's room" and she is so excited for the trip. We are going after Jason's boards so he can focus on his test and then focus on a house. Poor guy can't handle too much work/study/stress at once! 
One of our friends, Logan, celebrated turning four at a local gym. The kids loved all the fun games that we played but there favorite were the rolly plastic seats and the parachute.
The party was a great time and a great way to get rid of all their energy on a cold winter day.
A picture of Amelia came up on my Facebook memory the other day. Three years ago this sweet little girl was playing in the snow in Hershey. Goodness...look at that little face!!
There is a nearby gym that offers open gym a few times a week. It has become our weekly activity. The kids love playing and I love that they can get some exercise (get rid of some energy) in a fun way. Amelia wanted to wear her "lillitard" and she looked so grown up doing flips on the equipment.
Amelia's birthday party will be at the same place as the open gym and we are working on the last few details. She went with a princess theme at the gym...her favorite things combined!

Preschool applications were mailed in this week--crossing my fingers that they get in! Missouri will be here before we know it.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Winter Park, Colorado

Early Thursday morning, we headed out for an adult trip to Colorado. We planned a trip this summer with our island besties and we were so excited to get back on the mountain and to spend a few days with our friends.
We landed in Denver, met up with Andy and Alissa (they arrived a little bit before us) and then we made the drive to Winter Park. On the way there, we stopped at the best pizza place! You eat the pizza and then you put honey on the crust. Delicious!!
We made it to our condo mid-day on Thursday and we were able to get groceries and our skis/board so we would be ready for the weekend. Jason snowboards and I ski so we had to make sure that we were prepared and well fitted.
We woke up bright and early on Friday so we could get on the mountain. It has been about 12 years since we've been on a big mountain so we were a little nervous but we both picked it up pretty quickly.
It snowed on us all day Friday...the views weren't the prettiest but the snow was amazing! We were on the mountain all day and then we headed to the hot tub. It was a great ending to the day.
Frank and Jess arrived around 8pm and my sister and her family arrived around midnight. Ange and Chris usually go skiing and when they heard that we were going to Winter Park, they wanted to join in the fun. I'm so glad because I missed seeing those crazy Comptons!
The crew was all together for a full two days of fun!

We had three full days of skiing/boarding and we couldn't have asked for better weather or a better time with our friends.
We left Colorado early on Monday so sore, tired and already planning the next ski trip. There is something so invigorating and exciting about skiing on a big mountain, especially when you are going down with your best friends and family.
I'm so thankful that my mom was able to keep the kids for us and that we have the opportunity to go away together to reconnect. The mountains are good for the soul...I can't wait to head back next year!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Open Gym

The weather this week has been pretty brutal. Temperatures have been in the single digits, with a wind chill in the negative, and my kids have been full of energy.
We went to an open gym and let the kids run, jump and release some energy. They had so much fun and I have a feeling that this will be a weekly outing for us, at least until the weather warms up.
Amelia has been interested in gymnastics/dance for awhile but recently, she has been wanting to do flips and cartwheels. Her favorite part of going to a park is the rings and the monkey bars--her upper body strength is pretty amazing. I have a feeling that she will join a gymnastic class when we move to Missouri.
Barrett loves to be wild and the gym was perfect because everything was padded...very small chance for him to get hurt! HA! 
I'm so glad that we were able to go and burn off some energy!


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Disney On Ice

A last minute decision had me and the kiddos at Disney on Ice on Sunday afternoon. We tossed around the idea a few weeks ago but never fully committed--until we were talking with the cousins and they were tossing around the idea too.
We had seats right in the middle of the ice and the kids were so excited when they got in the arena and saw the decorations and the ice!
The kids were so into the songs, the characters and all the different light settings. I love their intense faces in this picture!
Our favorite acts were the Princess song (where all the princesses and their princes came out) and The Lion King (surprise, surprise). We had such a fun afternoon with our cousins at Disney on Ice!
We left the arena and were shocked at the amount of snow that had fallen is just a few hours. We ended up having to cancel an evening birthday party--Jason was on call and I didn't trust myself to drive with the kids at night. We stayed home, bundled up and watched some movies.
I love being able to do so many fun things with the kids. Life can be difficult sometimes but moments like these make me forget some of those times!

Friday, January 8, 2016

Things On Our Schedule

It's crazy to think that in five months we will move from Ohio to Missouri, for the last stage in our crazy journey.
Here are a few things that we have going on over the next couple of months: 
1-I'm filling out the kid's preschool applications. WHAT?!  Both kids will be starting pre-school in August and I'm crossing my fingers that they get in to our first choice! I will mail in the applications the last week of January and we should know something by the beginning of summer.

2-We found a few homes that we like in Missouri. We are planning on taking a trip to Missouri in February to look at them and meet with our realtor. Amelia is going to go with us and she is over the moon to fly on an airplane and look at houses with us.
3-Amelia's birthday party is the first weekend in February. Jason's work/study schedule is a little rough so we are going to squeeze it in the first weekend of the month. 
4-Jason takes his oral boards in North Carolina the first week of March and we're so nervous/anxious/excited to have this test out of the way. He's been studying as much as he can (he doesn't have much down time) and having this off of his shoulders will be a huge relief.
5-We just found out that Jason's first day at his new job is July 5th. We'll move home in June and then he'll get to enjoy the July 4th holiday with us before starting work.
6-We have a vacation to Colorado (adult only) with our friends from St. Maarten. My sister and her family is actually going skiing at the same place so we'll be able to meet up with them too. Can't wait to get back on a mountain...praying for no injuries.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Our Week (And It's Only Wednesday)

We started out the week with a little competition between one of the biggest rivals in the NFL. The Steelers were playing the Browns and we each chose a side. Barrett wasn't so sure about the brown and orange jersey but Amelia was rocking the black and yellow!
Our cousins came over and we acted like it was the Superbowl...we had tons of food and drinks to watch the game.
The Steelers pulled out a win and are headed to the playoffs!  Woo hoo! 
Sorry, Barrett! Your team is out. As you can tell, he was pretty much out of it for most of the game.
Amelia was sick last week so we knew that it was only a matter of time before it started circulating through the house. Well, Monday morning around 2am, Barrett came downstairs with fever, a crazy cough and vomiting. He got some medicine and his DVD player and we tried to get as comfortable as possible.
Monday was rough. Poor guy was so sick, lethargic and weak. We didn't do much except for lay around, take medicine and push liquids down him.
Tuesday was about the same. Amelia was dying for some attention and was starting to act out, as a result, so we agreed to spend some girl time together when Barrett laid down for a nap.
She wanted to go and get a pedicure and eat at Panera--so that's what we did.
We took Barrett some macaroni home and were shocked when we got home and he ate the whole thing. Poor guy was so hungry! The food gave him a little burst of energy and he got up and played a little bit before heading to bed.
Bedtime was a little rough but he was only up one time for medicine and he went back to sleep. We ended up sleeping in the chair from 3:30am until we woke up because laying down created too much drainage and caused him to cough and vomit.
Amelia went to school this morning and we went to Target. Barrett enjoyed getting out of the house and I enjoyed the Christmas aisles with the 90% discounts!
Praying that our family continues getting better and that the sickness stays out of the house over the next couple of weeks.
We are taking an adult skiing trip to Colorado this month and we would love to leave the kids healthy and happy for Nannie!



Christmas Week

Since I work for a University, I was off two weeks for Christmas break and Jason was on call for 6 days and they let him take it from home, which typically isn't allowed. Well...he didn't get called in so we had a nice long break together. It was so nice!!

While we were on Christmas break, we got together with the cousins to go and watch Star Wars. The older kids loved having their own popcorn and their own drinks. Amelia really liked the movie--the main character is a girl so she was all about it.
The deer in our back yard are constantly eating all of our bird feed from our feeder. We've purchased multiple feeders in the few months that we've been here because they yank them down and they break. Jason went outside and tried to scare them but they didn't care. I had to snap a picture of the madness.
Amelia wasn't feeling well last week so we were keeping an eye on her. Well, New Years Eve came and she wasn't feeling well at all. She was up all night crying with ear pain so I took her to Urgent Care on New Years day. Not exactly how I wanted to spend my first few hours of 2016 but glad we were able to get her in to see a doctor. She ended up needing an antibiotic for a double ear infection.
We hooked the Wii up and taught the kids how to bowl, play baseball and box. They really liked the different characters.
We took the kids and met the cousins at the Natural History Museum. The dinosaur bones/fossils were going to be packed up on January 4th and I wanted to see them before they left. The kids weren't really feeling it so we spent a lot of time in the kid's adventure room but we got to see the dinosaurs, even it was just for a little bit.
We ended the year with a bang and with our cousins. It was such a fun Christmas week and a great ending to 2015!