Friday, April 27, 2012


I am dramatic by nature, but I'm serious about this... All the stress in the last year and a half of my life comes down to this week. In five days I defend my thesis. The only thing comforting me at this point is knowing that a year and a half ago, everything I knew about writing a thesis came from the movie With Honors in 1994. I'd say that's starting from scratch and I feel good about my progress. Hopefully I'll be updating next week with emotions similar to this

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Virginia is Only 1,376 Miles Away

It's April 12th and The Big Change is behind us. Brooke and those babies have officially flocked to their new home in Norfolk.

It was a dreadful week leading up to moving day. I did everything but creep around corners and stare at Vin and Avery for hours on end. Not in a super scary way, just a kind of scary way. Hell, I wanted to soak up every last second with them! My sisterwife, Lt. Duracell Bunny, was constantly fluttering about the house getting things packed and we had a slew of grandparents in and out that admittedly got to spend way less time with them than I did... so I surrendered. My rational subconscious knew I couldn't hold them for the last week they were in town, so I just kept repeating to myself over and over "they're leaving either way, Ashley. Just rip off the bandaid now. Go forth and conquer." Then I'd sit in my car crying for 20 minutes listening to slow jams.

But seriously. Do you know what it's like to live with a sister for a year and half help raise her children, watch her baby boy grow into a toddler and witness the birth of her baby girl?? This experience was nothing short of unique and I am seriously blessed to have lived it. Not only because I am that much closer with my sister, but also because now I know multiple tricks to make infants sleep (and when they try to fight it, it's okay, because I'M THE BOSS... right, Brooke??), and now I know the most efficient way of handling a massive turd in big boy undies without getting poop on everyone and everything. I also know I have the strength to pick up a sleeping baby, walk her over to the couch, feed her in the dark, and put her back in the crib without ever waking her. Magic. Where else do you have the chance to learn these things? I won't be the world's greatest mother, but those infamous first-time-parent fears will definitely be mitigated by this experience. So. Lucky.

And best of all, I KNOW these children... like really know them.

My Little Nut
The child can throw a frisbee like there's no tomorrow. It's like a "fire in the hole" moment... you better be aware of your surroundings, because there's no telling where it's going, but it's getting there FAST...

He reads every chance he gets and his vocabulary is reaping the benefits. One morning he walked up to Avery in her bumbo seat by the window and I suggested he tell her what was outside... he proceeded to point at each thing as he said, "see, dat Avery, neighbors der and der on bos sides, dats da swing, ders the wind bwowing in the trees." I d.i.e.d.

He's a park dweller by nature, a softy at heart and thinks it's funny to correct me on the type of grains on the back of the cereal box. Or say "Annie Ash is weird" (another aunt that shall remain nameless started that, by the way. Such a hussy).

I can't believe he went from this...

to this, in such a short time...

Ugh. He'll always be my first love (copyright Aunt June, 1954)

My Little Muffin
I'll miss this baby girl just as much, but in a different kind of way. The kind of way that says "damnit that she's leaving right when she gets awesome."

I mean, she's had the squarest face and the poutiest lips from day one, but they just keep getting more scrumptious.

I already miss our half hour of alone time between 7-7:30 like WOAH. We used that time to coo at each other and solve the world's problems... we discovered the answer to happiness was nudity. Just take off that onesie and the BYOMilk Happy Hour was upon us. Good times.

I only had the chance to teach her the necessities - how to straighten her hair

And how to have a really big mouth like a true lippy Anderson female

And I know she'll use that mouth wisely. Girl has things to say. We went from an internalized laugh, to a motorboat scream/cry, to a throat clearing snort, to a straight up grunt of hilarity in just 10 short months. Sweetest streusel muffin love I know. I heart her.

I'd be remiss if I didn't say it's been really stinking nice to sleep in and lay out all day. But when I do things like Skype with them, like I just did... the flood gates open and I'm a mess all over again. Avery just sat on the table with a big toothless grin, pulling out her happy dance a few times... Vincent just wanted to tell me about the new park and sing Wheels on the Bus. My cup runneth over.

Sooo yeah. I'm starting a "Send Ashley To Virginia Fund". Send me a message if you want to donate.