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Ashlee is Mama of one darling boy. A 28 week early bird, now 1 and some change, doing beautifully. She lives near Chicago with her sweetheart husband and French Bulldog. She's a thinker not afraid to get her silly on. Babywearer, veggie queen, photography nut. Before the domestic days Ashlee was pursuing a future in developmental psychology but has happily shifted gears in favor of staying at home and couldn't imagine doing anything else. In her free time (ha!) you can find her whipping up babyslings, holding down the fort at Mama Speaks and spotlighting as an Itsy Bitsy Yoga Instructor.

Mama's Nest

Feliz Navidad Sunday, December 23, 2007 |

• 8 Chirping

We're FIVE!!! Friday, December 21, 2007 |

Five years ago today, I awoke from a fitful restless sleep, to butterflies and freshly fallen snow. I woke that day prepared to begin a new life, to wed the man of my dreams... my best friend. And now five years past, with butterflies and a blanket of snow, I prepare to curl up next to the man of my dreams, my best friend, and our son!, to continue the life we've established.

Never could have dreamed or hoped for more.

All my love.
Happy Anniversary.
Here's to 5x10 and them some more.

• 5 Chirping

Siete Tuesday, December 18, 2007 |

It's been a week. One week without my father gracing this earth. In some ways it has seemed an eternity, in others a flash. Yesterday was the hardest day yet. Last week we were busy- gathering info and making arrangements, my phone was ringing off the hook, my brother and sister in law were flying in. And in three short days there was a birthday, a funeral and a dino party. We were reeling but moving. Constantly. Busy.

Monday everyone went back to work, my brother flew home, my phone barely rang at all. Just me and Xavier. Quiet. My thoughts. It was a tough day. A day I survived one minute at a time.

I know the world must continue on, that I must continue on, but who's to say how long it can take before I have to rejoin the rest of you? Days, weeks, months, years? I've answered emails, approved orders and published reviews because people count on me. I wiped butts and noses, cooked and cleaned because my family needs me. I've slept because I need me. But it all feels so unimportant.

Today X and I finished our Christmas shopping- we avoided, we acted, we DID. There were moments of pure joy and moments where I literally said out loud, "I can't do this right now." The few calls I have received have quickly turned from concern- how am I, what do I need. To people telling me how they are and needing things from me. I don't want anyone doting on me, it's not about me, but I don't feel like I have anything to give.

Maybe this is depression. This is real.

I know everyone deals differently, some move and do and act normal because that's what works for them. Some deny that it all exists until they crumble or explode. I don't know what I'm doing. I don't have a plan. I do know I'm destroyed, that I'm nowhere ready for normal.

It has been seven days. Seven days of trying to put one foot in front of the other, one minute at a time, to make it through until normal feels right.

• 14 Chirping

My New Tattoo Monday, December 17, 2007 |

My Dad's name is was Clifford. He never got around to getting a tattoo, but always talked about having David do a Clifford the Big Red Dog piece for him (Dad's favorite!). After the funeral, my husband, tattooist extraordinaire, gave my brother and I matching tattoos. I wish the circumstances were different, but I finally got David to tattoo me.

It's perfect.
Damn, I miss my Dad.

• 14 Chirping

Happy Number 2 Sweet Xavier Friday, December 14, 2007 |

My boy,
Today is your birthday. Your second go at this, well, third if you count the day the arrived, and it just keeps getting better.

You have existed in the flesh for 730 days, and in that short time you have changed the world. Our world at least.

So much more I could say, but you know already. Happy Birthday little dinosaur.

• 9 Chirping

Rest In Peace, Daddy Tuesday, December 11, 2007 |


• 29 Chirping

Say It Like You Mean It Saturday, December 08, 2007 |

I started working at a group home when I was 16. My "clients" were labeled as "low functioning, high-needs adults". I loved them, still love them, they quickly became my friends, my family. They taught me more than I could ever put into words, but one of my favorite lessons is just how silly our language can be. To my "guys" EVERYTHING was literal. If you said wait a second you better believe in exactly ONE second they wanted you to deliver. Maybe, was unimaginable, and when the new guy said it was "raining cats and dogs" our resident animal lover hopped to the window faster than I'd ever seen him move, full of excitement, only to be sadly disappointed by the presence of rain drops.

These moments return to mind now that I am Mom. Xavier has a really good grasp on language, his vocabulary blows me away, and yet there are all these nuances that his brain, can't and won't grasp for so long. And so I think about some of the things we say, and how when taken literally, they are just plain weird. People are strange! I'm sure you all have your favorite examples, and I could, I'm certain go on and on, but my favorite of late...

I'm preparing X for our day, telling him that after church we're going to go to Miss Carrington's baby shower. As I'm rattling off the names of our friends that we'll see, he disappears mid Miss Steph, he just makes that "ah-ha!" face and saunters off. Before I know it he's bouncing back with his favorite bottle of shampoo in hand, beaming and exclaims! - "Miss Care-ning-ton's baby showers! Yay!" Right. Baby. Shower. Don't I feel silly. Giggling and backpedaling, I explain that we are actually going to a baby party, to celebrate that Miss Carrington has a baby in her belly, baby Capri, who will be here so soon! "Ok, he says, go baby party" and off he goes. Just a party, not nearly as fun when there are no bubbles involved.

And now even though it has lights and is utterly fascinating I have the task of explaining why, this month and this month alone, we have a tree in our living room. A living room that has not, nor ever will, see any other growing green life form, because... I kill them. And while this tree is not alive it was assembled, "Papa, stacked it up", and we hung the ornaments, put the tiniest little Santa hat on top, plugged in the lights and will bask in it's glory, at least for another 14 days.

People are strange.

• 6 Chirping

Wordless Wednesday - Xavier and The Beast Wednesday, December 05, 2007 |


• 8 Chirping

I've been Grinched Tuesday, December 04, 2007 |

What do you think about me changing my name to Grimgrump Rottenshorts? Oh, I definitely have days where that is fitting!

Who are you?

• 7 Chirping