Eat your heart out!

You never really know what a 4 year old will hand you when he says he "has something special for you". I lucked out this time...

He told me it was a valentine sandwich.:)

Kudos to Moms



"We need to remember that the full commitment of motherhood and of putting children first can be difficult...There are moments of great joy and incredible fulfillment, but there are also moments of a sense of inadequacy, monotony, and frustration. Mothers may feel they receive little or no appreciation for the choice they have made. Sometimes even husbands seem to have no idea of the demands upon their wives...We want you to be happy and successful in your families and to have the validation and support you need and deserve." M. Russell Ballard, "Daughters of God," Ensign, May 2008, 109

A friend emailed this to me & I thought it was a great reminder. Being a "stay at home" mom is not glamourous by any means, but I wouldn't want to be anywhere else but with these little men. On days where I'm changing the 5th big poopy blowout, wiping pee on the seat before I sit down, or attempting to fold the room full of laundry waiting for me (because I'm sick of going through it to dress everyone) I try to remind myself that I'm not a slave, but I chose this way of life because its the best thing for our family...and especially our kids. (Not to mention where the Lord wants me now.) I'm far from perfect, but who would be better to them each day than their mom who loves them more than words can say?


So kudos to moms & especially all of you who have chosen to be at home with your sweet babes!! We may not get the praise of the world, but we are changing it by what we do.

Happy Birthday Marge!


Its my little sister Margo's birthday today! For those that don't know her she is 3 years younger than me & is a very amazing gal.

I was thinking about all of the great times we've had together...
  • growing up & playing the "guess the letter" game on eachothers backs at night
  • housesitting together (the Wadsworths poor grass)
  • as roommates at BYU & beyond (eating Freshetta's pizza & playing vball all of the time!)
  • doing triathlons & that volleyball tournament in Park City (we were so sore!!)
  • going to concerts (does this song sound familiar?)
  • NYC to see Les Miserables
  • making the video to get on the Amazing Race. (Still waiting to hear back...:)
  • San Fran to play with Matt & Kunkel...also bunging jumping together at Six flags!
  • And especially all of the other trips we took together. We traveled all over the East Coast, Hawaii, Cali, Zions, Oregon coast (who knows how many times), & lots of other fun places --and even though we may have had some disagreements along the way we had some great times road tripping:).

Disneyland


Boston


Boating


Hawaii (with little pineapple plants)

Vegas


The Sacred Grove, NY


So here's to Marge! The Thai speaking, marathon running, super singing, special ed & aerobics teaching, super duper aunt & sister. Love ya.

Easy Brownies



Here's fun activity/treat for a cold winter afternoon!

#1 Get out a brownie mix (or if you're like me you can just use an easy recipe...I found this one online.)


Our official egg crackin' & mixer man...

#2 Bake the batter in a greased/floured cookie sheet according to the recipe.

#3 Get a cookie cutter and just cut out the brownies like cookies. (Its nice not to have to make, chill, or roll out the dough!)

#4 Pull out that frosting & use food coloring to make it pretty!

#5 Put a few sprinkles on top...

And enjoy!!

Found it

My phone was in the basement...I went down Friday night to sleep a few hours without hearing any crying (I just got back from the Dr.- Aidan has an ear infection) & took it down so I would know when to get up and pump.

Thanks for all of your encouragement though...it was probably all of the well wishing that lead me to the lost phone.:)

Hallelujah! I'm back in business!:)

Lost my phone...

So...I can't find my cell phone. Yes-its a pain to lose it, but especially when your home phone doesn't ring. (Thanks to a certain 4 year old who shall remain nameless...and we are still trying to figure out how to fix it:). I figure if you are reading my blog then you might actually care.

Seriously.

Baby stuff I love...

I thought I'd share a few baby things that I'm really digging this time around. I've also attached a link so you can find out more details if you want to.
Here are a few so far...

*The Bumbo

You've seen Aidan sitting in this great seat on the counter. I like it because Aidan can sit upright and see what's going on even if he can't sit by himself yet. It also has a tray that attaches onto the front that will be wonderful when we start doing the real food thing!

*Sit N'Stand stroller

If you have more than 1 kid (and no twins:) this is so great. Ethan loves it because he's not locked in, and when we go to the zoo (or wherever) he can jump out and run when he wants to. It also carries a baby car seat in the front if you need it to.

*Jumperoo
This isn't new, but Aidan is having even more fun with it than Ethan did. I already posted Aidan jumping in it, but it was kindof dark so here is a better picture:


And last but not least...my Carseat blanket!

A friend gave us one when Ethan was born, and its so great for winter babies. It doesn't attach to the car seat like some covers do, but its just a blanket that lays right in the seat. Its easy to pull off and wash & I love that I can wrap or unwrap it anytime to keep my babies at just the right temperature.

I'm actually in the process of making a pattern for it so if you're intersted let me know and I can give you details when I get it finished. The pictures below are of one that I'm making now- Even though its not quite finished you get the idea.

It looks that a starfish here...

But put it in the carseat...

And snuggle that baby right up!

Who's who?

Take a guess at which baby picture is Ethan and which is Aidan!

Tanya's done it again!

Here's Tanya's latest cute idea! Just go to her site for an easy tutorial.
Love it Tan!

Easy Donuts

Looking for an easy fun afternoon activity? Here you go!

Get a roll of biscuits & shape the dough into the shape you want. We found that little balls are easy to make, cook really well, & are fun to eat.

Heat a few teaspoons of oil in a frying pan.(I use coconut oil because its suppose to be better for you.) Put in the dough and let it cook until it is a light brown & then flip it over and cook the other side. Watch closely...if it gets even a little overdone they don't taste as good.

Pull out some cinnamon sugar or frosting and put it on top! Enjoy a fun yummy treat!

Happy Birthday Bob!


Today marks Bob's 35th year. So, I thought I'd celebrate with a a little poem.

Ode to Bob

Bob is turning 35-
Yes, we're glad he's still alive.

He works so hard to do his best,
(So I hope this year he makes less of a mess.)

The boys love him dearly and he makes them smile-
But I wouldn't try to mimick his computer tech fashion style.:)

His understanding of football leaves other coaches amazed,
Though he can't remember where he put his keys most days.

We are so blessed to have such a great guy
Leading our family as each year goes by.

Happy Birthday honey!

I forgot about this!



I just found this picture! Last summer while visiting in Oregon, Tanya signed the boys up for a "Pirate Class". It was a cute little class at the local rec center, and the boys had a good time. While they were making little crafts a guy from the newspaper came and took a few pictures. We didn't think much of it until the next day when this picture was in the paper! So fun.

PS My mom got the shirt Ethan is wearing while she was in SanFran a week before the little class. Perfect timing!

Ethan's latest

-"Mom, you're skinny like a 5 year old."

-On our way to Costco we drive right past a lot where they are building an Olive Garden. The sign is out and every time we drive by Ethan asks if we can eat there when its open. I wondered why in the world he would want to eat there.(Getting him to eat anything but sweets or berries is a real chore so I was baffled!) A few days later I'd bought some blueberries at the store and Ethan was eating them by the handful. Then he made a comment about the blueberries at the Olive Garden. I realized that when he saw the sign with the grapes he probably thought they were going to serve him blueberries! How disappointing!:)

-"Mom, I love you. And when I grow up I'm going to be sad because I'll miss you."

Love this picture


This is a picture taken a few weeks ago of my brother Travis and his 4 year old son Trey. It was Trey's 1st time snowboarding. I just think its a great shot! (And yes, Tanya took the picture.:)

Another thing

Just wanted to share a fun little website we came across today. Kids and color pictures online and then print it out. Its easy for them to use & Ethan had fun coloring valentines day pictures. (Well, at least coloring online. His real love is to CUT them out after he's printed them.)
Here you go!

Dinner?


I'm getting tired of making the same dinners...anyone have any good ideas? My sister Stephanie was making fun of me a while ago because I make the same 3 things all of the time...chicken enchiladas, chicken fajitas, and curry chicken on rice.
If you have any easy suggestions please help me out!:)

Little moments...

Although Bob may appear a rough and tough football coach, those that know him realize that he also has a great heart. Tonight as we watched American Idol we both had tears as we watched a sight impaired contestant blow the judges away. (Sappy I know, but if you saw it you know what I'm talking about...it was touching. I especially loved the way his brother reacted when he got the yellow ticket:)

Then while in this somber state we started talking about this man in NYC who jumped in front of a subway train to save a stranger who had fallen on the tracks while having a seizure. This was an inspiring story & I hope I would have done the same.
Here he is on Letterman...I like this clip because you see the personality of this hero. (Its also pretty funny.)

Proof he's my child



These are pictures of Ethan & I at about the same age...3 years old. I didn't really notice how much we looked alike until I put these pictures together. Its kindof fun.

Thai Restaurant Reviews (6 more of them!)

So, I thought we'd better play catch up on our Thai Restaurant Reviews! For those who haven't been following our blog, we decided to eat at and evaluate all of the Thai Food Restaurants in SLC!

Previously we rated Thai Lotus & Sawadee Thai. Here are the next 5 reviews of place we've eaten at!

Thai Siam****+
1435 S State St
Salt Lake City, UT 84115
(801) 474-3322
Scale: 1-5 (1=poor, 5=amazing)

Atmosphere:4 Roomy-catered to a higher end crowd.
Service:5 Great service.
Food:4.5 It was good food...actually my favorite cream cheese crab appetizers so far!
Overall review: 4.5 We definitely go back!

MeKong Cafe****+
7725 S State St
Midvale, UT 84047
(801) 566-5747

Atmosphere: 4-Since they moved a few blocks South the atmosphere is alot more classy--although smaller than the last location.
Service:5 Bob loves the people there. He used to eat there weekly after his mission & they know him by name. When we got married they sent us a gift card.:)However, its not the fastest service we've had.
Food:5 Bob's personal favorite...I'd say it good too.
Overall review: 4.9 Still Bob's favorite place so far, but I like other the atmosphere of other places more.

Pawit's Royale Thai Cuisine***
1968 Murray Holladay Rd
Salt Lake City, UT 84117
(801) 277-3658‎

Atmosphere: 4 We went during the day so there weren't very many people there.
Service: 5 More sweet Thai waitresses. They even showed Ethan this crazy yellow fish in the tank that follows your finger!
Food: 3 Not my favorite...Bob said it was OK.
Overall review: 3


Chanon Thai Cafe**
278 E 900 S
Salt Lake City, UT 84111
(801) 532-1177‎

Atmosphere: 1 Super small & not very nice.
Service: -5 We sat waiting for someone to take our order for 20 min.(an eternity with 2 kids)We also made the mistake of taking my parent there even though we had no idea what to expect. I was so frustrated and hungry I would have left if we didn't have guests with us.
Food: 5 Okay so this is the worst part...the food was awesome. Everything was so great. Especially the Lemongrass soup...highly recommended if you don't mind when you get it!
Overall review: 2 Great food, crappy service.


A Taste of Thai**
7078 Redwood Rd
West Jordan, UT 84084
(801) 999-4069‎

Atmosphere: 3 Average. Typical Thai Restaurant Decor
Service: 4 Nice, but again average
Food: 3 Only OK
Overall review: 2 Nothing to rave about.



Bangkok Thai Cafe****+
850 South State Street
Salt Lake City, Utah 84111
Tel: 801.519.THAI

Atmosphere:5 Open restaurant with LOTS of seating. They even had these cool seats that had the table inside of them.(Its hard to explain...you might be able to see it in the picture)
Service:5 Super fast and friendly. The cook even came out to speak Thai with Bob.
Food:4 It was good. The mango rice dessert was to die for...I actually order 2 because I didn't get enough sharing 1!
Overall review:4.9 We'll be back.

It may not be fancy, but we like it!

For Christmas Bob got me a sewing machine (with some guidance and a helping hand from Tanya...Thanks Tan!)& yesterday I completed my 1st project! No, it won't win any awards at the county fair and no, I didn't use a pattern...but this little tote bag met the requirements for a happy 4 year old and a mom without a lot of time (and who hasn't had a sewing class since a Waldo Middle School Home Ec. class.:)

We went to the fabric store and Ethan picked out this green fabric (of course--his favorite color) and then when we got home he sat anxiously by the machine waiting for his "Book of Mormon book bag". He anticipated the chance to cut anything I would ask him to & then would say "This is taking a long time!" & ask how much longer until I was done.

No, its nothing fancy, but I guess you have to start somewhere!:)





Speaking of sewing...

Tanya made this little blue fleece football sweatshirt for Ethan when he was born. I pulled it out and put it on Aidan yesterday & I thought it was so cute. For those that don't know, Tanya is an amazing seamstress. She has worked for several bridal stores altering and sewing dresses(not to mention majoring in fashiong design)...so here's another plug for her great blog & craft ideas!

Pulling out of postpardum


As I was leaving the gym tonight (my favorite 30 minutes to myself...never thought I'd look forward to working out like I do...the "at home" workout just isn't enough seperation for me!), I started thinking about how great it feels to be getting back to myself again. Aidan turned 5 months today & I can honestly say that I am really starting to smile & mean it, laugh & feel it, & when I cry its for a reason (well most of the time anyways!:)

Yes, I admit the postpardum rollercoaster is a crappy part of my life after having babies. Its been a rough few months for the Ashby family...even if you don't count the hours of crying, nursing problems, hiding in my "cave" for as long as I could, or the time I tried to "run away" and hit our other car parked in the driveway as I was pulling out of the garage (and then drove around for an hour bawling with no where to go (miss that Oregon coast) & returned home because I had to pump). (Oh man! At least I can smile about it now.):)

But feeling so terrible (during my pregnancy and after) has done a few good things for me...


#1 I have gained alot more empathy for those who are in chronic pain. At least I knew (or hoped) there was a light at the end of the tunnel--so many live daily with pain and have no end in sight.

#2 It made me realize (once again) that I can't do everything myself. I have been blessed with the desire to be independant so asking for help is not easy. Thanks to my Father in Heaven (typically after ASKING for it) I recieved the help I needed to "survive".

#3 It has made me so grateful for my great healthy boys. It sure isn't easy getting them here, but at least I am blessed to have them. I guess time (& of course prayer) will tell if we'll have more (Bob keeps telling me to get rid of the baby stuff):), but it was this time last year that I starting on the ZoFran(an anti-nausea drug they use for chemo patients)and I feel sick even thinking about it.

#4 Its made me appreciate Bob for working so hard for our family. I feel very blessed to be able to stay at home with my boys. I wouldn't have it any other way. The transition to a "stay at home mom" after I had Ethan was very difficult for me for a number of reasons, but I finally decided my dreams of conquering the corporate world can wait until my babies are older. (So what if I'll be a raisin...I'll be a motiviated, hip, experienced raisin with no regrets!) Thank-you Bob!

So, cheers to feeling better!





The wild man

This little guy is a wild man! He will be 5 months tomorrow & I can't believe it. Well, I guess in some ways I can since the last 5 months of my life are a hazy blur. (The lack of sleep makes me a bit loopy...as many of you may have noticed.):)

Aidan loves his bouncer. Today when I went to put him in it he started kicking so much I had a hard time getting his chubby legs through the legholes! In this short clip he is watching Ethan and just cracking up. He loves Ethan so much. He also loves when Ethan strips down for bathtime. Last night Ethan was in his birthday suit swinging his jammies around like a lasso & Aidan couldn't stop laughing. I'd never heard him belly laugh so long and hard before...and of course we all end up laughing too!

PS Sorry the picture is so dark...but you get the general idea of what Aidan does everyday!:)

video

Looking back at 2008

Just thought I'd post a few memories from the past year (with some never before seen blog pictures:). For most of the family it was a good year. For me it started picking up after Aidan turned about 3 months old (Nov. 7) & I actually started to feel good again after being so sick & pregnant. But on a more positive note...

Bob worked hard all year to get alot of schooling done & we hope to be celebrating his graduation this year!

Ethan took swimming lessons every week for the whole year & is our little fish...he even started learning the butterfly!

Aidan was born & is our "not so little man"-- he weighed 7 lbs at birth and is now pushing 17 lbs. We may have a lineman on our hands!

And as for me...I'm so happy to be feeling more like myself & looking forward to getting back into shape again!

If you want to click on the pictures for a closer look you can...I just posted them all small so more would fit.


Our crazy swimmer Spring 2008


Anyone who knows Ethan knows about his "camping bed"! Spring 2008

Matt & Kathryns's Wedding in CA May 2008

Disneyland

Ethan's preschool graduation #1

Oregon coast with family July 2008

Welcome Aidan! August 7, 2008

Aidan's baby blessing

Brotherly love

Happy Halloween!

Bathtime! Novemeber 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Love this guy!

My little helpers! December 2008

1st time ice skating with Trey

Ethan & Santa aka Bob:)





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