everly | life

It’s Positive!

By on July 15, 2017

Yesterday I was browsing my Facebook Memories and I came across a post that reminded me about when I found out I was pregnant with Everly. I can’t believe it has been 4 years. Four years ago I took a pregnancy test, a pregnancy test I did not think would be positive but it was.

If you have followed my blog for awhile now you know it took us quite some time to get pregnant with Ace. We tried for over a year before discovering I have PCOS. It was hard because I rarely ovulate so trying to get that exact time wasn’t a 1-2 shot in a 28 day span it was more like a 1-2 shot in a 90 day span. Not fun. Anyway when we decided to try for a second baby we knew it would probably take time. We tried for about 6 or 7 months and the last month we tried it was more of a last minute ok lets make this the last month try. I actually ovulated on my Mom’s birthday. I think she may have had a hand in Everly.

So back to the day I found out I was pregnant with Everly. The day before we had just had Ace’s 2nd birthday party. I even remember telling one of my friends that we were waiting to try for one more. I really truly did not believe I got pregnant when we tried a couple weeks before his birthday. So the next day I was at my sister’s and we were in the pool talking about how Branden and I decided to wait to try again. We wanted to do some more things with just Ace since he was getting to a really fun age.

Later that night I got home with Ace and put him to bed. Suddenly the electricity went out so I was sitting on the couch in the dark waiting for the lights to come on. I had just text Branden and when I picked my head up I felt really dizzy. I thought it was weird then I realized the date. I knew it had been almost 2 weeks since I ovulated. I ran upstairs and took a pregnancy test. Still thinking it would be negative but wanted to rule it out. The electricity came on so I remember turning the tv on and almost forgetting about the test for a few minutes. I didn’t even stare at the test like I normally would. I went back into the bathroom and had to do a double take. It’s Positive! I seriously felt like I was one of those idiot people who run around looking for the box trying to figure out what two lines means. I was in that much shock.


I seriously just sat there not believing it. I don’t even remember if I called anyone yet. I may have called my best friend Kat but I know everyone else I waited to tell. That night I could not sleep. I wanted to tell Branden in a cute way so I was laying next to him in bed with butterflies in my stomach.

In the morning Branden went to work and I rushed over to Carter’s when it opened to get Ace a “Big Brother” shirt. I had a play date at my friend Erin’s house so while I was getting Ace out of the car I told her to look at the shirt I had gotten Ace. She looked at it and totally freaked out. We were having a play date with another friend who recently had a miscarriage so I felt horrible not telling her but also didn’t want to tell her and upset her. Erin would look at me randomly and whisper I can’t believe you’re pregnant. She is probably my favorite person to tell things to because her reactions are always hilarious and extreme.

After the play date I headed home and waited for Branden to get home. I asked him to give Ace a bath and then go change him into the pi’s I left on his changing table. I was sitting in our room when I heard him say “What? Wait, this isn’t real?” Sure enough it was!

I feel like that was the start of our journey to not just having Everly but Ashlyn too. Our girls are such a pair. We literally found out about them a month apart. It wasn’t like we got pregnant with Everly and it was awhile before we found out about Ashlyn. We literally got pregnant and a month and a week later decided to adopt Ashlyn. We even found out that they would both be girls I  think a week or two apart. These two were meant to be little partners in crime, a sweet duo. I love that they will grow up together.

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Ashlyn | Birthday | everly | life

The Girls Unicorn & Donut Birthday

By on April 6, 2017

Better late than never right? We did a joint party again for the girls this year. Originally I thought I wouldn’t get around to doing one because things had been so crazy but Ashlyn kept talking about having a birthday party so I threw one together last minute. I called my best friend Kat and told her to come help me (because I don’t do parties without her) and she was more than happy to help with the festivities. I planned it during her girls Spring Break and St. Patrick’s Day. So perfect! 

 
I wanted to do an early party because that is when my kids are at their best. This also made food easier and more difficult because it wasn’t really breakfast or lunch time. We decided on donuts, muffins, cupcakes, confetti popcorn and fruit. Drinks we easy since we had water and juice. 
  
 Since we have a large front yard on a cul de sac we put everything out front for the kids. 
I wanted to have a bunch of activities for them to do so I knew for sure we would have our Little Tikes bounce house out (seriously best purchase we ever made when Ace was a toddler). I also bought a bunch of crayons from Amazon, this bubble machine, sidewalk chalk and a big unicorn coloring poster. 
  
Kat and her oldest daughter made the cupcakes. I bought little unicorns from Target’s dollar spot. They worked out perfect as little toppers.  I also got the favors from there too. They had wood unicorn and robot painting kits. Seriously, I love Target’s dollar spot. I also got unicorn stamps and sunglasses for the girls there. 
I picked out these dresses in purple and aqua for the girls to wear for the party. Then she put on this dress and then Everly decided it wasn’t happening so she wear some random pair of shorts and t-shirt. I finally got her to agree to put her dress on for cake pictures and she put a Mickey zip up on over it. Such a stinker. I also realized I didn’t get any great pictures of the girls together but I did at school for Everly’s actual birthday so you get what you get, right? 

Everly’s Dress

Cart

!
This picture cracks me up. They were waiting for us to sing to them and were like hurry up!

Bubble Machine / Ashlyn’s Dress

Bounce House

 


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everly | life

My letter to 3 year old Everly!

By on March 26, 2017

Happy Birthday my little Gertie Trudie! We love you so so much. 
 

Outfit

You are our spunky, goofy, raspy voiced sweet pea. 
You are the girl who makes everyone laugh by making goofy faces and being super silly and cute. You have no shame. You finally love the water, thank God! You are obsessed with “baby shorts” which are just shorts but for some reason you like anything to do with babies. You are hardcore in love with babies and baby dolls and being a mommy. You often carry around two dolls or stuffed animals on your hips. It reminds me of the good old (crazy) days when I was carrying around you and your sister all the time. 
  
You absolutely love school. Your teacher Miss Monique is probably one of your most favorite people. You also gravitate to guys, always have. I think because you are such a spunky, crazy girl you love the energy guys put out. You are very similar to Ace and you two are very wild together and will wrestle. 
  
My favorite thing you say is “I love you so much!” it’s not just I love you but you always add that last part. It’s precious. You also say “I swear to God!” Which you really shouldn’t but it’s funny and you know it. Your goal in life is to make people laugh. 
 
You are also my helper and cleaner upper. You take after your Dad a lot in this way. You take after me with your tantrums and dramatics. Very similar to me as a little girl, whoops. 
  
You are very quick and athletic still. You pick things up quickly and are very physical. You love running around, riding bikes and playing outside. 
 
You color inside the lines which I find so cool for a child under 3. You were never taught or told to do this by us you just did it. 
 
You are also so generous. You don’t mind sharing (unless it’s one of your babies) and often will bend to Ashlyn because she is much more stubborn than you. Your best friend is your sister. I didn’t realize how connected you two really were till I saw another child try to come play with you two and you two just had this way with one another that no one else really got till a set of twins came along and for some reason the 4 of you worked. It was super cool to see. 
  
My sweet girl you have grown into such a magnificent person. Whenever I look at you I think of the song “Here Comes the Sun” because your smile is so bright and beautiful. Your eyes shine. You just have this way about you that can make anyone smile. I love you so much my little Gert Gert. 
 Love, 
Mommy
 
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Ace | Ashlyn | everly | life | life lately | Summer

Life Lately: Summer 2016

By on August 13, 2016

Ahhh I can not believe Summer is almost over. It seriously flew by. We had a lot of fun traveling, seeing friends and the kids loved camp. Now we are onto a new chapter of life. All of our kids will be in school! I can’t believe the girls start preschool full time and Ace is going into Kindergarten. It seems surreal. I feel like I need to update on the kids so I don’t forget these ages. 
I was just looking at pictures of the girls when they were babies and it seems so far away yet it could have been yesterday with how fast time flew. In so many ways I miss having those two little babies playing on the floor but I love how fun they are now. 

Their personalities are so fun to watch the older they get. They are so distinct from one another too. 

Everly is very sensitive. She is also hysterical. Such a clown and once she warms up to you she is the funniest person ever. She also is my cleaner and likes things a certain way. If it’s not she gets pissed. She also is a really good little girl because she listens really well and likes to help. She is also very physically sturdy and can do so much. It’s crazy to watch her do a flip. I still can’t get over how she has always been advanced physically. 
Ashlyn is very much my sweet, goofy girl. I always say she dances to the beat of her own drum and I love it. I love that she sees flowers and wants to pick them. She isn’t in a rush or aggressive. She likes to be snuggled and is just such a good girl. That being said she is so mischievous. It kind of makes us laugh and roll our eyes like “that’s Ashlyn being Ashlyn” because she has always been this way. She also is very silly with her movements. I can’t even really explain it but she does the funniest things because she is so goofy. She always has the sweetest smile too. 
Some of the girls’ favorite sayings are “Hold you” which means hold me, “My do it” which is I do it and my favorite of Ashlyn’s because of the way she says it is “this is mine.” I wish I could relay how it is said because it’s hilarious. 
Then there is my big boy Ace. He is such a good boy. He definitely has his moments but he has just matured so much. He amazes me with how much of a helper he is if I need him when we go somewhere or helping the girls with things. He is a rule follower so that helps a lot. He is still a big talker and loud so that can be interesting. I can not wait to see how he does in school this year. We have started working on a few words with him and he does really well. He has always been a smart cookie but more importantly a sweet guy. 
Oh sweet Summer we will miss you. 
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Ace | Ashlyn | everly | life | Summer

A Summer Update

By on July 5, 2016

Hey there! How was everyone’s 4th of July? Ours was pretty low key but nice. We have had such a busy Summer already that I have a lot to fill you in on. 

So far Ace has spent a week at camp

We went to our Keys house
Celebrated Ace’s birthday early
Bran and I had my best friends girls for a few days, we went to see Pan. Ace is now obsessed with being able to fly. He actually told me to today that I should have named him Peter Pan so he’d be able to fly. 

Then we had a little romantic couple of days away while my best friend took the girls and my sister took Ace. We got to explore St. Augustine. So beautiful! 
Spent some time in Daytona and celebrated the 4th. We had ice cream for dinner and the girls loved it!
We are now back home settling back into normalcy before our Summer gets busy again.

Next up we have more Summer camp for all kids, $1 movies, play dates, another trip, Ace and Branden’s birthdays, mine and Bran’s 7th anniversary (how did that happen?!) and getting ready for our girls to start preschool and Ace to start kindergarten (again how did that happen?!).




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Ashlyn | Birthday | everly | Party

The Girls’ 2nd Tutu Birthday Party!

By on March 30, 2016

Since the girls are still young I really wanted to do a party for them together. They share everything and honestly doing two parties I feel like can be a bit much when they all have the same friends and family members and they are literally like twins at this age. Same size clothes, same toys, same room, pretty much on the same level learning wise. The age gap has pretty much closed so why not just do it till they want them separate? 

 
 So of course since there is 2 of them turning 2 I had to do a TuTu theme party. My best friend Kat did all the desserts because she is truly amazing and we kept it fairly simple. 

We set up our bounce house outside.
Had a dress up station.
And a piñata, which I will never do again, at least not the ones where you hit it. I was traumatized. 
And of course had the girls favorite character come, Elsa! Ashlyn was in Heaven! Everly was scared of her so she didn’t go near her. This is when we realized she isn’t into characters at all. Well, she likes them from a far but up close is a no go. 




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Birthday | everly | life

Everly is 2!

By on March 29, 2016

Everly,

You are officially 2 years old! It feels like you have been 2 forever though. You have always been advanced for your age and I swear you were never truly a baby or at least never wanted to be. 
You have truly come into your own and are such a happy go luck girl. You smile constantly and are very silly. 
You talk up a storm, count to 10, sing your ABC’s and any other song you know. You love coloring and singing. You also are really into doing flips with Mommy’s help. You are just like I was in that department. I used to walk up my brother’s legs and he’d hold my hands and I would flip, you do the same thing minus walking up my legs since I just pick you up and you do it. It’s hilarious because you just do it over and over again. 
You are still obsessed with baby dolls, it’s actually boarding on an addiction. 

The carwash is terrifying

You take your time warming up to people. You hate being leg in church daycare making it really hard to go. You literally scream till they come and get me. You are very sensitive to new places and people just like I was when I was little. You are very much a clone of me in a lot of ways. 
I also love that you are my little helper. You love to clean up and put things away. 
We will also begin potty training you soon! You now tell us when you need a diaper change. 
A not so fun thing you are doing now is getting up super early. You also started climbing out of your crib so you are now in a “toddler bed” which is just the side off of your crib. Tonight is the first night we will be trying this out. 
We love you so much little Gertie (yes, we still call you that!). 
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Ace | Ashlyn | Day in the Life | everly | Giveaway | life

A Day in the Life + Gift Card GIVEAWAY!

By on February 20, 2016


  I haven’t done a day in the life post in so long so I thought it would be fun to journal what a typical day is for us. I chose a weekend day since the weekdays are not as interesting since I work now. You can see what our lives are like from the kids waking up to dinner time and past bedtime! Make sure you enter the GIVEAWAY at the end!
Thank you to Publix Viva Italia for Sponsoring this post!

7:00AM
The kids are up. Diapers are changed and we head downstairs for breakfast. 
Then it is breakfast time. The girls usually eat waffles, fruit and milk. Ace will eat cereal.

8:00AM
Outside playtime! I love our backyard. We don’t have a large yard but we have a good size patio and the kids have fun stuff to play with making it easier for them to be entertained out there for awhile. 

9:00AM
The kids came inside and played with some of the girls new toys. We did a joint party for them on Saturday. They are all really into pretend play. 

10:00AM
Snack and playtime upstairs. A change of scenery is a must. Branden was cleaning the floors so the kids and I hung out upstairs and did puzzles and other random stuff in their rooms. 
12:00PM
After picking up a RX it was lunch time! We all sit together at the table and eat together on weekends. It’s nice for me since I don’t get to do this during the week.

 12:45 PM

More playtime before naps. My sister came over so the kids played with her and my niece. 
1:00PM
Nap time for the girls and quiet time for Ace. Bran and I watched The Walking Dead while they napped. OMG, no spoilers but OMG!

3:30PM
Girls are up and then it’s snack and TV time again for all three. After they finish their snacks they play some more. 

4:30PM 
Branden or myself will cook dinner. Sometimes it is both of us like tonight. We both kind of threw things in a pot to make some really delicious italian dish for the kids. I always use Hunts® Diced Tomatoes in our pasta dishes because it gives it some more substance. We also had a treat and I made Pillsbury crescent rolls. Another favorite.
Check out Publix for some major savings on their Viva Italia Sale now till the 2nd of March. 

5:00PM
Dinner & Family Time!
 Branden and I try to always eat dinner together as a family. We sit down together, pray, talk and eat dinner. I love hear what Ace’s favorite part of the day is. The girls are still a bit too young to talk much during dinner but they still talk or sing. We also find that if we sit together as a family and eat we have less issues with the kids eating. Ace and Ashlyn usually are our picky ones so this has made it a lot better. This night everyone was happy to eat and devoured dinner. Italian food is a huge hit with them.


 6:00PM 

More Playtime for the kids
  7:00PM 
Bath Time
The kids all take a bath at the same time, which makes life so much easier on me. I don’t know how much longer this will last since Ace is getting older but as of now they all love playing in the bathtub together. 
  
7:30PM
Girls’ Bedtime
We have the same bedtime routine every night. We go into the girls room after baths, get PJ’s on and the kids play for a little bit. After they have played we read a couple of books of their choice then we sing songs, their favorite is The Wheels on the Bus. After that we read Goodnight Moon quietly and then the girls are off to bed. 
8:00-8:30PM
Ace’s Bedtime
Ace’s bedtime varies between 8/8:30. It really just depends on how tired he is. If he has had a busy day it’s earlier. If he isn’t super tired we let him come hang out with us downstairs for a bit then we put him to bed. His routine is we read books then snuggle in bed till he falls asleep. He was having trouble going to sleep because he was really scared so we now like to lay with him till he falls asleep. He usually falls asleep within 10 minutes and it’s a nice time for us to just have a little one on one time with him. I really cherish this time with him. 
8:30PM
Mommy and Daddy time.
If Branden isn’t working or isn’t working on school stuff this is when we get to just hang out together. We have our shows we like to watch so we cuddle on the couch (totally cheesy I know but we do) and I usually fall asleep on him at some point, ha! 
9:30/10PM
BED! 
I am usually passed out at this point. Branden not so much.

Now enter to win a $10 Pay Pal Gift Card Sponsored by Viva Italia at Publix! Check out their delicious recipes and coupons!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
 
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Adoption | Ashlyn | everly | life | The Story of Our Girls

The Story of Our Girls: The Announcement

By on January 23, 2016

If you are just reading The Story of Our Girls you might want to go HERE to catch up.

The weekend we found out both babies would be girls would be the same weekend I announced my pregnancy and that we were adopting. 
When we made the announcement it took people some time but after some guesses and people putting it all together they found out we were going to be expecting two little ones! One through adoption in October and one through my own pregnancy due in March. 

I made a picture with clues on what the announcement would be. I figured if you didn’t know I was pregnant you probably wouldn’t figure it out but if you knew I was pregnant you would at least know that part and figure out what the rest was. 
So the clues were a pear to represent two girls (like a pair of girls), Irish Twins soap since the girls would be less than a year apart, the calendar to represent when they were due, 4 rulers which meant 4 feet, A&E for their first initials and the baby beanies for two babies one in October (pumpkin) and one in March (clover). 

After the big announcement we had so many people supporting us. We never had anyone who was negative about adopting and expecting at the same time (well, not till later). 
Now that we had made the announcement we continued on with our Home Study and preparing for our trip to California for Ashlyn’s birth. We would meet Ashlyn in less than a month! 
Next up: Part Six: Traveling to California!
 
Don’t forget to enter this months GIVEAWAYS HERE
 
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Ashlyn | everly | life

How We Got Rid of Our Girls Pacifiers!

By on December 28, 2015


Now that the girls are at an age where they really need to get rid of their pacifiers I knew I wanted to do it in a way that would be least upsetting. It might sound dramatic but having to deal with two toddlers hysterical over their comfort items and sharing a room doesn’t sound fun to me. 

 There was a couple ideas that sounded cute like the Paci Fairy but I didn’t think Everly would really understand that. I decided that putting their pacifiers in a bear from Build-a-Bear might be a good idea because then they would have control over putting the pacifiers in the bear and they could use the bear as a comfort item. 

We took the girls on a day where Ace had camp so we could really focus on them. We let them each pick out a stuffed animal. Everly picked out a purple rock star cat thing and Ashlyn picked out a puppy. 

We headed over to the stuffing machine and had Ashlyn go first. She put her paci in and stepped on the peddle to stuff the bear. She looked a bit skeptical but did it. Everly didn’t understand what was going on as much as Ashlyn. Ashlyn knew her paci was going “bye, bye”. Everly put hers in as well and stepped on the peddle. She liked watching everything. They then picked out a heart to put in the stuffed animals and they were sewn up. We explained that’s where their pacis were now. 

They “washed” their stuffed animals and played a bit then we paid and headed out. They didn’t seem to care that their pacifiers were gone. We headed home and at one point Everly asked for her pacifier so we gave her her cat and she actually tried to scratch open it’s back and screamed. After we told her it wouldn’t come out she went off to play. 

Nap time wasn’t horrible. They didn’t sleep but they didn’t freak out either. They basically climbed back and forth to each others cribs and played. 

Bedtime was another story. Everly was losing it. She was overtired and wanted her pacifier. She was screaming and throwing herself around. I have never seen her so upset. It was bad. Ashlyn cried and said she wanted her paci back and that seriously broke my heart but I told her she couldn’t have it and it was in her puppy. She was fine when we put her to bed but Everly was screaming. Branden had to go back upstairs to rub her back and separate their cribs because she kept climbing in Ashlyn’s and crying. Ashlyn did so well though. After they fell asleep they were out for the night! I was worried they would wake up and cry for their pacifiers but they didn’t.

They next day we had a play date which was a nice distraction. They did get tired while we were there so we left and Everly fell asleep in the car, not normal for her. Once we got home I put them down for a nap and they actually went down pretty well. They cried for a few minutes but they slept! 

no napping for this girl

I took Ace to see Alvin and the Chipmunks so Branden put the girls down for bedtime and said they were fine. Talk about success. 
Naps have not been fantastic. The girls end up playing in their cribs and not sleeping. Some days Everly will go to sleep but Ashlyn hasn’t been. I am thinking Ashlyn might have to just watch a movie on the couch and Everly goes down for a nap. Ashlyn has gone through phases of not napping before but I am wondering if this is it for her. Thankfully she will sit and watch a movie and have quiet time if we do that so it won’t be the worst thing. 
If anyone is looking for an idea to get rid of them I definitely recommend putting them in a Build-a-Bear stuffed toy. It’s just a fun way to get rid of it. I mean cutting it out cold turkey is probably just as good but I liked the little experience for the girls. 
And this is not a sponsored post. I just really love the Build-a-Bear company. I think they really do an amazing job at making the experience great for children. I would love to do a birthday party there but I would go broke, ha! 
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