Saturday, January 25, 2014

Mia Mae: 2-3 Months

I'm the worst, and totally didn't blog about Mia when she was 2 months old.  Bad Mom Award.

In the past 2 months, Mia has changed so much!  She's very sweet and smiley!  I remember Lex being smiley, but not as much as Mia is.  She loves to "talk" and "sing" with us, which is SO adorable!  She wants to be held basically all day, and she generally is.  My mom says it's not possible to spoil a child under 2 years old, so I'll just say she's attached to me, haha!

She has become more interested in toys, and has one little doll that she especially loves.  It has a rattle in it, as well as a crinkly dress and a teething ring in one hand, and Mia will hold it and play with it for a really long time.  I love and hate that she's big enough to do that!

Mia has always been a very different sleeper than Lex was.  By the time Lexsi was 3 months old, she would sleep from 8pm-5am, then eat a bottle and go back to sleep til 8am.  Mia goes to bed between 7 and 8pm, and usually sleeps for about 3-4 hours, then wakes up to eat.  After the initial sleep, she wakes up every 2-3 hours all night to eat, and gets up for the day between 9-10am.  She sleeps a lot in the day, but it's getting to be more like the cat naps that Lex used to do too.  No long, 3 or more hour naps-- she's all about the 1-hour naps, 1-hour awake schedule during the day.  I honestly don't mind.  She just recently has been going to sleep on her own instead of me rocking her to sleep.  I just feed her and lay her in her bed and she goes to sleep.  She's still sleeping in a cradle in my room just because it's easier for me since she's nursing and not sleeping through the night.  When she starts sleeping for longer periods of time I'll move her to the crib in Lexsi's room, but it's just not worth it to me at this point.  I know that she'd end up sleeping in my bed most of the time if I had to take her back to her crib in another room after feeding her in the middle of the night.  I don't have a rocking chair upstairs, so I just nurse her in bed.  It's pretty much awesome.   Usually around 5-6am, she stays in bed with me after nursing, and sleeps there until she gets up for the day.  I'm up between 8-9 with Lex, so having Mia sleep in later is nice so I can get Lex going for the day and get the house cleaned before I've got a baby on my hip!

Mia is way more a Mama's girl than Lex was.  Lex has ALWAYS been best friends with her daddy!  Mia totally loves DJ, but she's more attached to me.

I don't think I've ever explained Mia's nickname, Mimi.  When I was still pregnant with her, I was prepping Lex for having a little sister by telling her about Mia.  I put Mia's clothes in the dresser, and Lex would pull them out, and I'd say, "That's Mia's shirt," or whatever else she pulled out.  Well, she was so little (only 18-19 months old), that she started saying, "Es Mimi's," whenever she pulled something out (yes, she mixes Spanish and English.  All the time.  It's adorable.).  She always called Mia "Mimi," so I got in the habit of calling her Mimi when talking to Lexsi.  My whole family calls her Mimi now (or Meme--haha!), so now that's just who she is!  I use Mia, Mia Mae and Mimi all the time, and DJ generally sticks with Mia.

Mia is IN LOVE with Lexsi.  Any time Lexsi comes close to her, she gets a huge grin on her face, and will laugh or babble at her.  Lex loves her too, and often asks to hold her, or she'll lay next to her and say, "Es my sistoo!"  (Seriously love that she can't say her "r's" haha!).

I love that Mia has curly hair!  It's so stinking cute!  The longer it gets, the curlier it seems to get.  It's so awesome!  Unfortunately, the back of her hair is breaking off a little.  Hopefully she doesn't get bald spots.  She seriously has the craziest hair ever, but it's fun.  Her eyes are staying pretty light, so we might end up with a blue or green eyed baby.

Here are her 2- and 3-month pictures with her zebra:

She's already changed so much, it kinda breaks my heart!  She's such a sweet baby, and I'm so so grateful I have her!

And to finish up, here are a few more pictures from the past couple of months:

First little pony tail (on New Year's Eve, so less than 3 months old!):

Example of her crazy curly hair, straight out of the shower:

Watching basketball at the high school (this face seems to be her favorite one to make when I take pictures!):

And this shirt is one that I wore when I was a baby, so that's fun:

Monday, January 13, 2014

Body Image

Hi, I'm Ashleigh, and I used to be skinny.

Now before you go thinking this is a sad, self-pitying post, hear me out.  

From the time I was a tiny child, I was skinny.  Lurpy skinny.  In high school I was itsy bitsy.  Honestly, look at my senior picture:

I quite literally almost don't recognize myself in that photo.  Holy skinny, Batman!!!

When I was about 20, I started filling out a little.  And by "filling out,"  I mean at 5'7" I weighed maybe 125 pounds?  When I got engaged, I looked like this:

I was tipping the scales at probably 130 pounds.  In the 2 years that I was unsuccessfully trying to have a baby, I gained quite a bit of weight.  I think I was around 155 at my heaviest, and got down to about 145 before I got pregnant with Lexsi.  After she was born, I lost a good amount of weight, gained some back, lost some more again... you know the drill.  After having Lexsi, I mourned the loss of my skinny self.  I really did.  I certainly didn't regret having a baby, but I did wish I could be skinny again. When I got pregnant with Mia, I weighed around 150, and I was really concerned that I'd just get HUGE while pregnant, and never be skinny ever again.  After she was born I quickly dropped back down to the weight I was before getting pregnant with her, and made a goal to lose 10-15 more pounds.

Do you see all the numbers in that paragraph?  Over Thanksgiving break this past fall, something finally clicked.  I didn't want to focus any more on a number.  I didn't want to feel uncomfortable in my own skin.  I won't say it was an overnight change, but I can tell you, I'm MUCH happier now!  

I've been going to the gym for a few weeks, but not with the ultimate goal of being skinny.  Honestly.  I realize that working out will likely yield the result of weight lost, but that's a bonus for me.  My main goal is to be healthy.  Being healthy is much more important to me than being skinny.  Let's get real... I've had 2 babies 20 months apart.  That's a lot to put your body through!  It's going to take a while to bounce back from that, if I ever really do.  I will probably never be as skinny as I was when I first got married.  And honestly, I'm okay with that!  I prayed for and cried over and stressed about having a baby for nearly 2 years.  Now I have two beautiful baby girls!  I wouldn't trade them for anything in the world, especially something silly like a skinny body.  

I can honestly say that I have more self-confidence in my body now than I ever have before in my life.  My body literally created, formed, and sustained human life inside of it twice!  For the past 3 months since Mia's birth, I have continued to sustain her life by nursing her.  Seriously, aren't bodies the coolest?  How miraculous is it that she hasn't needed ANY nourishment apart from what my body has naturally produced for her?  How could I not be proud of a body that has accomplished that?

Do I have days where I wished I could fit into a pair of pants that I have from before I had babies?  Yes, yes I do.  And yes, I actually still have those pants tucked away in the closet, in hopes I *might* someday be able to wear them again.  But I can be completely genuine when I say that if I don't ever wear them again, I won't be heartbroken.  Heavenly Father gave me this incredible body.  Despite things that our world views as "flaws," I love it.  I'm not focused on my soft, baby-pooched stomach.  I don't care that I have stretch marks.  I'm not bothered by the increase in my pants size.  What I care about is that my body has allowed me to live my dream of being a mom.  

From reading the scriptures, I know that I fought for the ability to come to this earth and receive a body.  No where does it say that the body I was fighting for would be perfect.  No where does it say that the body I was fighting for would be a size 2.  I truly believe that bodies are beautiful in all shapes and sizes.  They really are gifts from our Heavenly Father.  

Looking at this picture, I don't see a chubby mom.  I don't see someone who cares that they weigh more than they did 2 years ago.  I see a happy, happy woman who is crazy in love with her husband and overjoyed with being a mom to her 2 gorgeous baby girls.  I'm quite literally living my dream, and I'm not going to let insecurities about my body stand in the way of my happiness!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Christmas and New Year's

As usual, we had 3 Christmases this year!  It's one of the many benefits of being married :)  We had our family Christmas in Ogden really early, on December 15.  We were leaving for Lovell on the Saturday before Christmas, so we did Christmas on the Sunday before that.  Lex had a great time with her new toys, and I'm sure Mia appreciated her new blankets and binkies.

That evening, we met my parents in Salt Lake so we could take Lex to see the lights on Temple Square.  Lex was really tired, and was happy to sit in Mia's stroller :

Lex all tuckered out:

It was so fun to see my parents for the evening!  I really miss living closer to them so I can see them more often, but at least we're close enough to see each other at least once a month!

Mia with her Pillow Pet from Grammie:

Sister love!

On December 21st, we headed to Lovell.  The trip there wasn't terrible, but Mia was pretty sad.  When we were on South Pass, we pulled over, DJ unpacked and re-packed the car so I could sit in the back row, and then she was fine, cause she could see me back there by her.  The last 30 minutes of the trip was pretty much horrible, cause both girls were SO over being in the car, and just wouldn't stop crying.  The trip back to Ogden was MUCH better.

Here are my babies on the Sunday before Christmas:

Love those sweethearts!  On Monday, I did all the Allred girls' hair.  It was a blast!  Lex and Brooklyn got to hang out, so that was good too :)

Lex seriously LOVED being in Lovell.  She got lots of attention from all the family, and it was pretty obvious that she remembered the house from when we lived there this summer, and was very comfortable being there.  It was great!  She had one really rough night where she woke up crying like 4 times, but after that she slept through the night and actually was sleeping in past 9am every day.  It was GREAT for vacation!

Lex helping Vanna make Oreo truffles:
 Mia snuggling with Annie:
 Christmas Eve PJ's!

On Christmas morning, we opened presents and then had our big Christmas breakfast and DJ's parents', then headed down to Grandma and Grandpa's for more presents.  Lex was very spoiled!

Lex brushing Papi's hair:

It was seriously SO great to be in Lovell for a week!  The time flew by, and I wished we could have stayed a little longer.  I'm so grateful I got to be with my great family for the time we had, though!

My girls got TONS of attention and snuggles!

We came home from Lovell on December 27th, a Friday, cause DJ had to have basketball practice on Saturday morning.  On Sunday we headed down to Provo for Hailey's baby blessing.  The girls and I stayed at my mom's house through Wednesday, but DJ had to come back up to Ogden for basketball games and practice.  He came back to Provo on Tuesday for New Year's Eve.  It was so good to be at my parents' house again!  I love it there!

Lex eating breakfast at Shirley's in Provo:

Our New Year's Eve was really mellow... we watched the Sound of Music Live, had some snacks, and went to bed before midnight.  We're getting old.  I'm okay with that.

On New Year's Day, DJ took the girls over to Jordan's while I went shopping.  That was my Christmas present this year, and it was AWESOME!  I got to go try on clothes without an entourage.  I LOVE my babies, but oh my goodness it was so nice to have some me time!  We headed back up to Ogden that day, and enjoyed the rest of DJ's time off with our own little family.  I must say, being married to a teacher has its perks!  Having DJ home for 2 weeks in December was SO great!!!


Thanksgiving this year was a little different than usual.  We had planned to have Thanksgiving dinner with my family the Saturday before Thanksgiving, cause Matty was scheduled to fly to the MTC in Brazil on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.  He didn't end up getting his visa in time, so he actually entered the MTC in Provo the week before our planned dinner, Meg and her family already had plane tickets so we ended up sticking to the original plan, we just missed Matty.  I went down to Provo with the girls on Friday, and we got to stay for more than a week!  DJ came down late on Friday night after his basketball games, stayed through Sunday, then had to go back to Ogden for work until Wednesday morning, when he came back down to Provo til Sunday morning with us.  It was SO fun to spend time with my sister, I don't get to see her enough!  While they were in town we played the Two Dollar game for FHE, which was a blast as usual!  We spent time just hanging out and it was great for Lex to be able to spend some time with her cousins.

Lex helping me make cookies sometime before Thanksgiving:

Decorating for Christmas! 
 (Which totally happened before Thanksgiving this year.  Lex and I LOVED it!)
 Lex had so much fun playing with the Nativity this year!  

After the $2 game with her "Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo!" wand:
 Led and Annie with their wands:

When DJ came back down to Provo we went bowling as a family.  Lex had so much fun!

On actual Thanksgiving, we spent the day with DJ's family.  They had come to town for a few days, and it was awesome to be able to spend time with both families for the holiday!

Lex reading with Mammie:

Grandma Eva Mae and Mia Mae:

We got some "Black Thursday" shopping in that night when we went to the Wal Mart in Payson.  It was DJ's first time going out to a store right when the sales started and he was not exactly loving it haha!  The good news is, we got some movies, some PJ's for Lex and were back to my mom's house in Provo by like 10pm.  That's WAY better than getting up early to do it!

We went to Levi's wedding in Logan on Friday, which was really cool.  On Saturday we blessed Mia, which I already blogged about, but that was the highlight of my week.  She has such a sweet, special little spirit!

The highlight for Lex was probably playing with my mom's dog.  She loves that little guy!  They've been pals ever since we brought her home from the hospital :)

Lex playing with the dog under the door (he sleeps in the bathroom at night):
 Lex "feeding" the dog some of the play food from the kitchen:

All in all, it was a wonderful week!!!

Monday, January 6, 2014


Before Mia was born, I had the awesome idea that for Halloween, I'd have Lex dress up as Boo again, and dress Mia up as Mike Wazowski.  We got the Mike onesie in the summer, well before Mia came along.  On the day of Halloween, it turned out that we were buying a car (great planning), and as the time got closer for our ward trunk or treat, DJ was still at the bank and dealership working out details.  I got the girls dressed for the party so they'd be ready when DJ got home.  Lex was being super grumpy.  About 2 minutes after putting Mia in her costume, she had a major blowout and had to be changed.  Before I changed her, though, I took pictures.  This was the best I got.

Awesome, right?  And then one of Mia, completely coming apart:

Both girls were crying, I was crying, and we never did make it to the trunk or treat.  I'm still working on getting through the big Costco bag of candy we bought for it.

2013 Wrap-Up

Oh, dear.

Looking back over my blog this year, I realized there were some pretty big things I missed.  Some little ones too.  So here we go with the year wrap-up, in multiple posts.  {Deep breath!}

For Spring Break, we went to Disneyland!  I was so excited to take little Lex.  She definitely enjoyed herself, but clearly would enjoy it more now that she's almost 2 and obsessed with all things Disney!  Her favorite ride by far was "It's a Small World."  Since I was pregnant, I didn't get to do any big rides, just the little ones with Lex.  We were there with my parents, little brothers, and my sister and her family, so luckily DJ had people to go on the big rides with!  I'd love to go back in a few years when the girls are big enough to really appreciate it!  Of course I'll likely have more babies then so... haha we'll see.

Lex in Mickey Mouse's house:

Lex and DJ on the carousel: 

We stopped in Vegas on the way to Disneyland and on the way home.  We stayed in the Stratosphere, so we got a great view of Vegas at night!

In April was a HUGE event that somehow I missed... DJ graduated from BYU!  He got a great job and loves what he's doing now, which is awesome!

 DJ and Ryan Boyce

Mammie, Papi, DJ and Lex

We had a barbecue for DJ with our families that evening.  I'm so proud of DJ for finishing his education!  He's a great example to our kids!