Diaper Changing Shenanigans...

Lately it has become the most difficult thing to change Adrian's diaper.  It's not that he's overly squirmy, he just hates getting his diaper changed, hates anything to do with taking off/putting on clothing, the whole deal.  He cries and squeals in anguish, as if I'm putting him through a most torturous ordeal.  Giving him a toy usually helps distract him, but his legs know what I'm trying to do, so he still stiffens them in the most unhelpful ways.

An analogy came to mind this morning as I was fighting with his little arms to get them through the sleeves.  I usually tell him to 'push push push' as his hands make their way through, and then kiss his little fingers in reward afterwards.  We were performing this ritual this morning, he crying, me cajoling, and then I thought about how perfectly this reflects our lives as Christians.  

So often we fight with God because we feel stuck, we can't see the end of the 'sleeve', if you will, and it's hard.  He's there constantly, helping us push through, telling us to persevere.  Just read this verse from Romans 8:

23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.

Love, Ashleigh


Beauty is All Around...

Yesterday as we were walking, I noticed some Queen Anne's lace lining the sidewalk.  When I was a child, this particular wildflower was one of my favourites, particularly for the smell.  I picked a small one that didn't have a bug in the middle, and held it up to my nose.  Ah. That smell brings me back.  I held it under Adrian's nose, and it must have tickled his nostrils, for he laughed, then tried to grab it.  He's usually into eating everything so at first I held it while he looked at it, but then withdrew my hand while he inspected it further.  

Imagine seeing a flower for the first time.  Beauty is all around us.  Let's not miss out on the small moments.

Love, Ashleigh


Baby Food Delight...

I've fed all the standard things to Adrian, and he is pretty much up for whatever I give him.  He really enjoys sweet potato, potatoes, carrots, green beans, beets, and avocados.  Yesterday I thought of something a little less boring, using ingredients that I had on hand.  I call it Tropical Mash

  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 chunk of [frozen] mango
  • 1 spoonful brown/green lentils
Mash up avocado and mango, stir in the lentils, and serve to baby.  

This would actually be a lovely spread for a sandwich, or on crackers, for adults as well.  I'm thinking add a little goat cheese, or feta, and you'd be set.  Here's another delicious combination that works for babies and adults:

Mexican Mash
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 spoonful of kidney/black beans
Mash the avocado and the beans together.  Serve to baby, or spread on a cracker and top with a tomato slice and salt and pepper.

Bon appetit!



What I'm Into: July Edition...

In the Kitchen
Oh, friends, I wish I could tell you all the amazing things that I've been whipping up lately.  My days get so busy that by 5pm I'm done for the day. I don't know what we've been eating, but it's not as balanced as I'd like.  I did, however, make stir-fried bok choy as a side with fish and potatoes.  I've never cooked with bok choy before, and both Jake and I enjoyed it immensely. You can find the recipe here:

Sautéed Bok Choy

On my Night table 
Currently Reading: 
Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis: This is one of the four books that Jake challenged me to read this year.  I have heard many good things about it, so I'm looking forward to being challenged.

Katherine Parr: A Guided Tour of the Life and Thought of a Reformation Queen, Brandon G. Withrow: Another one that Jake challenged me to read this year. The first half is a bit of history about Katherine Parr, which was a little dry for my taste.  The second half are prayers that she wrote, and some of them are amazingly relate-able.  

Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, Ina May Gaskin: One of those books you see on display at the library which tickles your fancy.  I was curious to see what I would learn from this book, since I've heard much about this famous midwife from the U.S.

No fiction, you gasp! Yes, I need to remedy that as soon as possible!

The Silkworm, Robert Galbraith: A crime novel written by J.K. Rowling written under her pseudonym.  The murder mystery is a great story, and kept me on my toes.  I can't tell you how much I enjoy her writing.  She's fantastic, and she really knows how to make the characters come alive.  That being said, one of her characters is quite rough around the edges and swears quite a bit.  

Amandine, Marlena de Blasi: Oh my goodness, if you like plots set in World War II and enjoy having a good cry, read this one.  For all the mothers, get ready, it will tug at your heart strings [at least it did for me!].  Set in France, this heart-wrenching story is about, yup, you guessed it, 'Amandine', a little girl who understands the unfairness of life through one tragic scenario after the other.  She is incredibly strong for all she has been dealt, and you will cry and cheer her on as you journey with her to find the one thing her heart desires the most.

Through my headphones
Latley it's been A LOT of Baby Mozart.  It's surprisingly relaxing, and Adrian thinks it's hilarious when we dance to it.  

Readings in my Bible
I've been reading 2 Samuel to Adrian, and have been reading and meditating through Romans, chapter by chapter.  Romans 6 has always been one of those places I go when I need to be reminded that, as Christians, we are free from sin, Christ reigns victorious, and there is no need to wallow in guilt! 




Are you on maternity leave?

I can't count the number of times I have been asked that question.  I get it, people are curious, they want to know what my plans are for the future.  I wish I had a typical response for them, something like, "Why yes, the day after he turns 1 I'll be returning to my job as {insert occupation here}".  But aren't there any other mothers in my camp?  Are there any moms who didn't really have a full time job before the baby, or who have no job to go back to, moms with the ability and maybe even a little desire to work again after the year is up (to help hubby with income) but can't imagine not spending every day with a face like this? 

So I got my TESOL certification, which means that there are no limits to where I could teach, which also means I could teach from home. OR I could meet students in a coffee shop.  It doesn't matter.  

And yet.

I don't know what I want to do, and it's hard to think about that since a lot of my day is still taken up looking after and spending time with Adrian.  So if you want a tried and true honest-to-goodness answer, here is what you could ask:

What do you and Adrian enjoying doing together?

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Having a laugh
We listen/dance to music
We eat food
We go for walks
We [sometimes] nap
We go for rides on the bus
We read books at the library
We spend time with other friends
We plan ways to surprise 'daddy'
We read books
We exercise
We play in the bathtub
We read the Bible and pray 
We laugh
We tickle each other (mostly Mommy tickling
and baby grabbing/biting/kicking)
We play with toys
We sing and talk
We play games 
We wait for 'daddy' to come home and make us laugh

We love being together!

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On a walk


Fresh Veggies...

In a previous post I told you about Grand River Organics and the order of veggies I had placed.  I opted out of the $39 box and ordered a bag of organic produce for $27.  And this is what I received:

Included in my bag were the following:
-2 bok choy
-1 head of kale
-4 beefsteak tomatoes
-1 bunch of basil
-1 cucumber
-1 bunch of garlic scapes
-1 zucchini
-2 heads of lettuce

So far I'm very impressed with the freshness and quality of the vegetables, and it was very exciting to order them online!

Love, Ashleigh


Adrian's Theme Book...

Just a little board book we found at the library.  I will let the words speak for themselves :)

By Michael Dahl


Grown Locally...

On the weekend I discovered Grand River Organics, a company that is committed to working with organic farmers to provide consumers with the best produce they can.  For a small fee you can choose a bag or a box, and your produce will be delivered to a convenient location near you for pick-up.  It's like Christmas: you don't know what veggies/fruits you're going to get!

 I'm trying it out for the first time today, and I sincerely hope that my bag of produce will be worth $27.  Anyways, have a look around the website and I will be back with an update soon!


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Reflections on a Life...

Grace Lillian Aszbach

Journal Entry from July 4

I should be sleeping.  It's 5:45am.  Adrian went back to sleep, so why can't I? My mind is abuzz with thoughts.  Nana A. passed away two days ago.  When Mom told me, I was stunned and saddened, but it wasn't until I saw her obituary that I could cry.  It's been so long since I've seen them, but that doesn't mean I'm feeling any less happy about losing someone who was very involved in my formative years.  She and Papa invested so much time in Melissa and I, looking after us, teaching us, disciplining us [when necessary].  They loved us as their very own grandchildren.  So what happened? Why did we lose touch? Now I'll be seeing Papa for the first time in years at our pseudo-nana's funeral.  That doesn't seem right.  She was such a gracious woman.  I remember how she had so much tenderness for her husband, she was such a model of godly wife-dom.  Her eyes crinkled when she smiled.  The memories are so disjointed, I'm remembering her better in certain contexts over others.  I'm so happy she is with Jesus now.  No more suffering, no more regrets, pain or grief, no more tears.  Thank you, Father, for what a blessing this lady was in my life.  I'm trying to recall a specific Bible verse that she held dear, and all that is coming to mind is Psalm 1:2, 3.  I'm not sure if that can be related to her memory or not, but there is one specific part that I'm thinking of: 

But his[her] delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law [s]he meditates day and night. [S]He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither, and whatever [s]he does shall prosper.  
She truly delighted in God's Word, and her fruit was very evident.  We can let bygones be bygones.  Papa A. needs us now.  He lost his lifelong best friend and love.  Spirit, please give him comfort now and especially in the next little while when the days are long and the nights become lonely.  He needs Your peace and comfort.

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