Wednesday, December 31, 2014

It's A Girl Announcement

Two years ago today we got our Pre-Approval and was allowed to announce "It's a GIRL!!"  We were so excited to share that we were matched with our daughter!

She was the most beautiful baby!  I'd stare at the handful of photos I had of her and try to memorize her features and what she must look like in person.

These milestone anniversaries are so amazing and nostalgic.  I mean, it's really incredible to see how far we've come since then.  She's grown up so fast and is the loveliest little lady!

Today is also special because my BFF's son turned 1 today!  Happy 1st birthday Mr. S!  We love you!

Now 2014 is coming to a close.  2014 was a fabulous year!  Hard to top 2013, as that's when we became a forever family and had so many firsts!  However, 2014 rocked anyhow!  We got many more firsts and Ashton turned from a baby to a toddler!  And to see her blossom is the best gift ever, and I have the best seat in the house!  I love being her mother so much!

Here are the highlights of 2014...

February - Chinese New Year!
                                    Chinese New Year Celebration
                    First Valentine's Day

                    Daycare on fire, AGAIN!
        First violin lesson

April - Meeting a Fox
                                  1st Gotcha Day Anniversary
                New Daycare #2
        First Easter

          Dragon Boat Festival

July - 4th of July
               A new puppy!

August - Arrival of puppy
                           Last day at 2nd daycare

September - New daycare #3
                   17 month mark
                  Walk the Wall
                          Mooncake Festival
                      Chinese Festival

October - Pumpkin Patch
               First Wedding
             3rd Birthday
                        Fox Birthday Party
                       Snowy Halloween

November - Reindeer

    December - First Chinese dance class
      Violin Recital
                      Christmas at Grandma's
               Polar Bear Express

2014 was amazing!  Ashton started off wort of talking words here or there, and now will talk and sing your head off.  She loves to make you laugh and make silly faces.  She is always on the go.  She is now as in the last month potty trained pretty well.  Just an accident now and then (and not during sleep/naps yet).  She is strong willed and determined, but hates to hurt anyone's feelings.  She is knowing her own mind and still loves "Jingle Bells" sung to her almost every night, but now can sing along and now and then loudly... which is wonderful.  She's such a quiet child.  She is so impressive.  I love my green loving, animal adoring, shoe obsessive, on-the-go girl!  She learned the violin, tumbling, and Chinese dance this year.  She loves the Children's Museum and candy!  She rarely gets it, but has been spoiled since her birthday with sweets.  She begs for it now everyday... we're working on that ;)  She loves saying " I love you to the moon and back", "No, I love you more!" "In a while, Crocodile.", "No!" to the dogs, "Wo ai ni!" and giving Eskimo kisses.  She still doesn't care for TV, loves to listen to music, loves baths, being outside (which is hard in this weather), and not going to bed.  She can't sit still and will try anything you put in front of her, she'll politely say, "I don't like it." but won't spit it out... will finish that bite!  She's amazing!  She can get tiresome, bratty, test you, and keep us up almost every night... but don't all toddlers have that in them?  I can't wait to see her grow and mature in 2015!
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Thursday, December 25, 2014

An Exciting Christmas

This year's Christmas was amazing.  Now nothing can top your first Christmas with your child.  I mean, it's a first for a reason!  Firsts are amazing and nothing can take those away.  Last year was great, a dream.

However, this one was more fun!  Sorry, but it's true.  This was an exciting Christmas.  Ashton understood the day better and everything just clicked!  Not to say it was perfect, nothing is - but it was pretty close!

To start off the day, I had my husband wake up early to check on the crockpot Christmas breakfast.  He said it all looked good.  I was pleased and we went back to sleep.  Then we finally woke and got Ashton up.

She looked at me all innocently and happy asking if Santa was here.  I told her Santa came.  She looked confused and said, "He's gone".  I said yes, that Santa came, dropped of presents and left.  She looked sad and said, "Santa's not here?"  I told her he didn't come to visit, but to drop off gifts.  He did for all the children all over the world and is now home with his family resting up.  She seemed depressed.

I got her dressed and when she went to the hallway and saw all the gifts under the tree, her disappointment was quickly forgotten.

We then went to the kitchen to eat the crockpot breakfast I made.  Around midnight I put in hash browns, eggs, milk, cheese, sausage and cooked it on low for 8 hours.  I opened the lid.  The cheese was gooey and it all looked picture perfect.  I took the spoon to stir and the beautiful picture of breakfast flew out the window.  The eggs were raw and soupy.  They didn't cook.  I was crushed.  I quickly set the crockpot on high and told my family we'd hold off on breakfast until after we opened gifts instead of before.

Ashton was perfectly okay putting off breakfast.

She made sure all the animals got Christmas love! She loved Arwen dressed up as Santa Paws.

We moved to the tree and Ashton was excited.  She pulled out 1 gift asked if it was hers and torn into it.  She would tear the wrapping paper off in little shreds.  It was funny and messy.  When she would pick up a gift for us she'd help us open it and be excited for us with what we got.  She always waited her turn.  She was awesome!

Last year we had to bed for Ashton to open presents, and she was content with the present she had and got upset "losing" the present to open another gift.  It was painstaking.  Not this year!  This year, she would love her gift, give a smile of delight, now and then ask if she could open it, and we'd tell her after everything was opened, and she'd move on.  She was a pro!

After the presents were opened we moved to to the stockings.

There Ashton got a rare treat - candy!  She was ecstatic and started dancing all over the place.  I was able to get the tail end of her dancing!

We then Skyped with Grammy and Grampy.  She opened their gifts in front of them and had fun showing off their gifts and 'sharing' her candy with them.

Then Lau Lau came in.  We then went back to the tree to open her gifts.

Lau Lau surprised me and got me a blow up remote control R2D2.  Totally frivolous, totally fun!  Ashton was scared of him moving.  If he was still, she'd run to him and ask her photo to be taken, but when he moved she'd grab onto me and hide behind my back.

Ashton loved her Elsa shoes she got from Lau Lau and put them on immediately.  I finally talked her into her boots again.

We then ate breakfast.  The eggs were finally cooked and the meal was saved!  It didn't turn out too bad.  It was a little bland... next time spicier sausage and more cheese... but overall good!

We then visited my husband's side of the family and had Christmas dinner with them.  Ashton had fun playing with her cousin Mr. K.

Coming home Ashton wanted to wear her singing/light up dress and shoes Lau Lau got her. I'm sure this was a popular present for girls this year.

She looked great.  Unfortunately, it's one size fits most... and it's more of a 3T not 18 months that Ashton wears.  So I took barrettes to pin it up as the neckline plunged down and the shoulders fell off her small frame.  But she got to wear it for a while.  We'll stitch it up for "regular" wear soon as the barrettes couldn't hold it up with a moving toddler.  Once it's fixed I'll get video of her playing and singing in it!

It was a fun and blessed Christmas for us all, as well as a very memorable one.  Merry Christmas everyone!!
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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Day 24 - Cross

Last day of Truth in the Tinsel.  Did she learn a lot, some days yes.  Was it hard to do daily with a three year old - yes.  Was it worth it, some days I'd say no, but overall - yes!  Will I do it again - yes!  It's very important to resonate Jesus is the meaning of it all and how it came to be.

Did Ashton enjoy it - yes!  Everyday - not always, but she did it and like any lessons if we went by what our kids dictated, they'd never learn an instrument, or go to school, they'd always quit.  So we plowed through a few days, but some were surprisingly informational fun days.  You never know what these sponged minds pick up!
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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Day 23 - Gifts

Gifts for Jesus didn't go too well.  Ashton just scribbled and was done.  She wasn't concentrating well today, but that's okay.  She's getting some of it and as long as bits are sinking in, that's all I can ask.

Only 1 more Truth in the Tinsel left for tomorrow, then Christmas!!
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Monday, December 22, 2014

Day 22 - Wise Men

Ashton was finally on schedule again with her Truth in the Tinsel.  She was caught up as of yesterday, but she did two yesterday and 1 today as scheduled.

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