Tuesday, May 29, 2012

10 months for Allie

My sweet baby,
Only 2 more months of considering you a true "baby."  It breaks my heart to see how fast it's gone. Like 10x faster than Reese! I've merely blinked and already I'm starting to think of your 1st birthday. Wasn't I just pregnant? Weren't we just making plans for our trip to deliver you in Alaska?

But with the sadness of her babyhood slipping away comes all the joy and crazy fun of seeing her personality develop, interaction and playtime with Reese, along with discovering new things.

Allie makes us laugh all day long. 
She's spastic, crazy, goofy, full of energy and smiles. She loves to entertain herself, find shoes to eat (such a strange obsession she has), watch Reese make faces and noises and try to imitate them, and will always hold her hand out to you if/when you talk to her.

Here's some highlights at the 10 month mark:

*Loves table food and is so happy when it's eating time -- especially when cheese is on her tray!

*Takes 4 bottles...morning, night and one after each nap

*Weighs 20 lbs

*Is a great napper but still a 10 hour sleeper. Maybe one day when she's 5 this will change. I've accepted the fact that for the near future there's no hope in altering the 6:30am wake-up.

*LoVeS music!! As soon as we turn a song on, she immediately starts bobbing to the beat.

*No interest or desire to pull up. She's fine with kneeling or even putting one foot down to start a pull-up position but just doesn't want to figure out how to go all the way.

*Waves hi and bye

*Really loves sharing a room with her sister. They sleep so much better during the night knowing each other are there. It's just the early mornings that are a bear!

*Allie's nicknames are continuing to grow...they're weird, crazy and so confusing to someone who just happens to hear us say it. The most current ones: Ju Ju Be 'oelle, Juey, Aggie Ju or simply...the Ju.
Poor baby! Thanks for not judging us by our wacky names! ;)

*Has the most beautiful blonde hair! Sometimes I look at her and can't believe she's mine merely because of how blonde she is. My siblings and I all had lots of DARK hair...eventually 3 of us turned blonde but not at 10 months. Love this Mehringer trait coming through. :)

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Celebrating Mollie!

She had just turned 15. 
Glasses, braces, Starbucks lover, a big sleepover - to the point where her oldest brother was looking for a hideout away from all the estrogen - in love with the idea of clothes, shopping with her {second oldest} brother's girlfriend, jewelry, looming thoughts of fashion, chick flicks. This was the Mollie I met. This was the youngest Mehringer I quickly grew to love and considered my sister...even before the wedding band was put on my finger.

She's stood by her brothers and sisters through graduations, weddings and now babies. She's loved us, cheered us on, prayed for us each step of the way.

{She's a great Auntie!!!}

Mollie with Reese only 3 hours old!

Allie 2 weeks old
Hayden 5 days old
Noah 1 month old

to Thursday, May 10th. A night to stop and give God thanks. A night to remember the many days, sleepless nights, midnight texts ;), Facebook status updates at 3 or 4am, the grueling/exhilarating/high energy last four years of college that shaped, molded and formed our Mollie into a young adult. She has finished the work required of her. She's honored Christ in her decisions to submit to Him and follow where He leads. She's ready for wherever He takes her!

It's become a family tradition for the graduate to choose where the entire family goes to dinner and for Mollie she chose the Melting Pot! {YUM!} 

We experienced a 4 course fondue dinner complete with:
-Traditional Swiss Cheese Fondue
-California Salad (not Fondue)
-The French Quarter Entree
-Cookies 'n Cream Marshmallow Dream Chocolate Fondue

The next evening, in the cool night air at College of the Canyons stadium, it was our turn to watch, cheer and {particularly one proud brother} sound a vuvuzela horn as Mollie triumphantly crossed the stage to receive her Bachelor's degree from The Master's College!

We were proud parents, brothers, sisters, boyfriend and niece to see such a special moment! 

Mollie, we love you so much! We're thankful to be your family, to see you reach such an exciting and important milestone in your life. What a privilege it has been to witness the Lord's work in your life and see Him answer many of our prayers through these last 4 years. Congratulations on a job very well done! We're excited to watch all the new ways He will be working in and through you as you glorify Jesus Christ with the next chapter of your life.
~All my love, Ash

Friday, May 25, 2012

Sorry for the delay...

I'm experiencing technological difficulties. And really it's all my fault. I've been on borrowed time for too long. About 4 months ago I got a message from blogger that I had reached my maximum capacity for data storage and I needed to buy more. Silly me! I just started deleting pictures from Picasa, not realizing that I was virtually deleting {lots} of time, effort and memories away from previous blog posts. Upon discovering it, I stopped deleting but never went back to "fix" said posts. This allowed me to keep posting/downloading pictures...until today! Not so fun to see that little memo again.

I have so many things to blog about! The month of May alone has been jam packed with family events and sweet moments I don't want to forget. BUT I need my super savy hubby at home to figure out with me how much we want to spend on data storage a month {soo lame that there has to be a limit on free}. As soon as that happens, I'll be back to update life on these things:

* Mollie's graduation
* Mother's Day
* My baby turning 10 months old
* Our trip to Oregon
* Stephen and Diana's wedding
* Birthday weekend
* Some big changes coming in the Mehringer family!!

So much to look forward to...I'll be back as soon as I can.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Oh so soon!!!

I can't WAIT to see these dear and precious faces in only 5 days. Count them...on one hand or one foot...not 6, 7 or 8 days but 5 fast-ly approaching days! Eeeek!!! To say I'm excited is an understatement. 
Some of these faces {like dearest Jenny Lee Howell} I haven't seen in 5 1/2 years. It just kills me to think of everything that has happened in that amount of time. BUT what a gift that we finally get to see one another again...and have memories like this...

For my Grandmom to meet Allie. This picture was taken back in January of 2011 when she met Reese for the first time.

To hug my sister and brother-in-law who I haven't seen since Christmas of '09 and for them to get to meet both of their nieces!

To hug and squeeze this friend {Amanda Bacon...who just so happens to be Jenny Howell's sister} who I'm so excited to get caught up with and have at least 1 uninterrupted hour of chatting while she does my hair.

To see these sweet faces that we haven't seen since December...

To hug and catch up with my adventurous sister and brother-in-law who just got back from a trip to Ireland {this pic was taken during their trip to Utah}...

And finally...the reason for all of this wonderful family/friends reunion in a mere 5 days...

To witness two becoming one. Moving from a life of singleness to marriage that would imitate the relationship Christ has with His bride, the church. Watching as my little sister commits herself to the love of her life, vowing to be his wife for the rest of her days. 

Friday can't come soon enough.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Around the House...potty training!

Things have changed in our home. For a very good reason. If you were to go into either of our bathrooms, most likely you'd find this upon entering.

I was so nervous about beginning this new phase. I'd heard way too many horror stories, imagined the loads and piles of laundry from wet pants and sheets, and calculated {in my head} just how many quarters we'd go through in a week. 

BUT...thanks to a dear friend's recommendation AND my daughter's tenacious/analytical/explicitly clean and careful self...it took 3 days. Nope, not making that up! Three.Incredibly.Intense.Worth-it.Days! You can find out all about how I/We did it HERE. Other than THIS book, it has been the best use of my time and money. I can't talk it up enough! And don't hurt me when I say that it all "clicked" the morning of day one. There were still some accidents here and there but she would cry as soon as she realized she hadn't told me in time. She had learned to understand her body's cues. 

We stayed home for three solid days. It kinda felt like the walls were closing in on me. We didn't even venture outside really so as to be within running distance of the toilet. By day 4, I needed new scenery and I know so did the girls. Our first time out had me a ball of nerves. I must have taken Reese to the potty 2 or 3 times before we left. I just didn't know what I would do if she told me she had to go enroute. We made it {yes Courtney...we went to Walmart} all the way there in tact, complete and most importantly DRY! We managed to get through almost my entire list once inside. And then those five little words, "Mommy, I need go potty." Thankfully our Walmart has a family restroom so in went our cart piled with things, Allie strapped into the front and Reese in the basket. Her first experience with public potties. I don't like them, so I didn't really expect her to either. The positive side: we were alone to do our business with no one breathing down our necks to use the stall we were in. The downside: this potty was automated and in my "are they thinking I'm stealing everything in my cart/mother-of-two/first time mom of a potty-trained kid" I failed to notice that I was the trigger making that silly thing go off. Every time I moved to help keep Reese on the toilet, it would flush. You can probably imagine. She didn't like it one bit and no amount of soothing talk or coaxing was going to get her to go. BIG BUMMER! So I did the only thing I could...pulled her pants up, told her she needed to be a big girl and keep them dry and out the door we went {still feeling ridiculous with my cart full of stuff I hadn't paid for}. And she held strong. All the way till we got home. I was so excited I probably gave her 3 or 4 gummy bears. 

Since then there's been an occasional one here and there but that's to be expected with a 25 month old. I'm so thankful for the Lord's kindness to us in this area. What a blessing! 

Saturday, May 5, 2012

A Little Glitz and Glam

It's the girl in me. 
Either that or the fact that life has changed to where the opportunity to dress-up, have my hair done and do a little extra make-up doesn't really happen these days. So when Matt has a formal at school to attend, I jump at the chance. It's a free date for us and a night for the girls to be with their grandparent(s). 

But when it comes down to it...I can't do my hair in an up-do to save my life. Enter my amazing sis-in-law Monika! She was so kind to let me come over, hold/kiss/cuddle with Hayden and use up her afternoon to curl and pin my hair. And do my eye make-up! And feed me a cupcake on the way out the door (that was just an extra tidbit of info for ya!). What a blessing to have talent right in your family.

It's important to have a nice dress for these occasions as well. And since I've been pregnant or feeding a baby for 2 years, I didn't have much to choose from. So...I asked my dear friend Kelly if she could peruse through her closet and find me something. She did indeed and I brought 4 dresses home with me to try on. The one I chose...I really don't want to give back {although I will}. It fit so nicely and when I was all finished getting ready Matt said to me, "That's one of the nicest dresses you've worn in awhile!" So thank you so much Kelly! 

And finally, we definitely couldn't have gone anywhere if it weren't for Papa Mehringer watching our girlies on the home front. Marmee and Papa both were planning to be with the girls but our nephew Noah decided to be born 2 1/2 weeks early. Marmee went to spend a week with the newest family out in Missouri and Papa was the best sport in still wanting to come on his own. Thank you, Papa, for taking such good care of our daughters. They played hard and had the best time with you that they slept in a whole hour more than they usually do! Yay for the chance to sleep in a little! :)

Just before we left...

I chose Prime Rib for my entree...Matt chose the Sea Bass. I didn't get a chance to take a picture of his before he took a bite. :) 

Loved having a night out with just the two of us
 {and all of Trinity's families}

We must be getting old. What sounded good at the end of the night was getting Starbucks, putting our feet up and watching an episode of Hawaii 5-0! Real exciting way to end our night out...but it suited us just fine.