Monday, December 31, 2012

Closing out the year

I feel this personally imposed pressure to write something Ashton's life as 2012 comes to a close.  So here goes a bunch of random thoughts strung together!

First, Ashton had his first "official" snow over Christmas.  Not sure he was a big fan!  I think he was frustrated by his lack of mobility due to  the snow suit and boots.  He tried sleding once or twice, but again not a big fan. Plus he refused to keep his gloves on...which makes for some really cold hands. 

Christmas was fun.  Santa brought Ashton a plasma car.  It was the hit of Christmas!

After Christmas Ashton and mommy traveled to GA/NC to visit with Grandpa Bob and Grandma Ginger and all our step Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins.  Mama felt like a super hero traveling solo with Ashton lugging, suitcase, carseat, diaper bag, stroller, computer, and personal items!  Ashton had a great time.  Especially with Uncle Greg and Uncle Doug!  He was a really good boy!  Everyone was so complimentary of his sweet and easy going disposition! Now only if he would sleep in!!!

While in NC Ashton went bowling for the first time.  Very cute!  Of course it was more like pushing the ball down the alley or the handicap ramp, but still very fun!   Thank goodness for gutter guards.   I loved watching him try to mimic the bowling technique once he saw a few people do it.

The thing I notice the most nowdays is his ever increasing vocabulary.  It's like he's a little parrot.  He basically can say whatever he hears!  It is very cute!  It's so ironic how at his 9 or 12 month check-up the pediatrician was concerned about his speech-language.  He even has begun to put two and three words together.

Ashton continues to love baths.  He tries to get into the bath at every opportunity.  He also continues to be a daddy's boy!

I pray that 2013 is a very happy and healthy year for the littlest Gjerde member!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Seeds of faith

Tonight I witnesses the sweetest thing.  At dinner we said, "let's pray".  Ashton repeated "let's pray" then proceed to fold his little hands and bow his head in prayer.  While I would like to take credit for this, I really believe we owe it to Ms. Helen his daycare provider who is so consistent with her little charges each day.  So sweet to the seeds of faith planted in a young child!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Lil Book Boy

Ashton has taken a real interest in books lately!  We love it.  He brings us books all the time to read and point out pictures.  So fun!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Fun with your 1/2 siblings and birthmom

Yesterday we went to a birthday party for Chloe (Ariana's big sister).  We had a super fun time with Ms. Taylor, Annabelle, and Ariana.  Annabelle kept trying to mother you!  Picking you up, trying to carry you around, and occassionally tackling you.  I told her to be careful, that one day you will be much bigger and paybacks are likely to occur:)  You also really warmed up to Ms. Taylor.  It was fun to watch the two of you together.   You would take her hand and lead her to where you wanted to go!  Needless to say it was one of those days when I personally felt the fullness and joy of adoption.  I pray that as you grown in knowledge of the cirucmstances surrounding your adoption you too will be filled with that same fulllness and joy as you come to a mature understanding of the situation.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Ashton's first Trick or Treat

Ashton's 1st Trick or Treat was absolutely adorable.  There is just something about an 18 month old lil dude dressed up in an elephant costume! Also it was so fun because after a few houses, Ashton really "got it".  People would bend down to his level with their candy bowl and he would take one or two items.  Sometimes he would put them back, other times he would want to walk around double fisted with both hands filled with a candy bar, and sometimes he would put his treats in his treat bag.  Not to mention how fascinated he was with all the pumpkins and neat lights.  Needless to say it was really fun and cute!  Plus Lily was so awesome with him, being so patient and such a loving big sister! He really adores her!   Gotta love it!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Your beautiful half-sister

Dear Ashton,

Yesterday both you and I had the opportunity to go up to Hagerstown to visit your birthmom, Ms. Taylor and her parents Jo and Sid. In some ways it was a wonderful visit!  Your maternal grandma (Mimi), step-grandfather Sid,  and birthmom  got to see how big and awesome you have become and fuss over you! The pictures of you and Ms. Taylor really say it all.

The more difficult part of the visit was discussing the future of your new half-sister Ariana Nicole. of the presumed birthfather Mr. Joey.  Unfortunately, Ms. Taylor learned that Mr. Joey is not the birthfather and at the current time she is unaware of who Ariana's birthfather might  be.  That being said,  Ms. Taylor  has come to place where she has to make another really difficult choice. She knows that just like she loved you with all her heart and it just tore her to pieces to choose adoption for you, she knew it was in your best interests. 

Your mommy and daddy really wanted to adopt baby Ariana for many reasons, but one of the main reasons is because of you.  Knowing that might struggle with different issues as you age, we wanted to give you whatever consistency we could provide for you.  However after lots of thought and prayer, mommy and daddy have come to decision that as much as we want to adopt Ariana, that Ariana would be better off in another family that does not have as much emotional, physical and financial demands on them.  It is my prayer that whatever family adopts Ariana, that you will be able to remain in contact with your half-sister as you grow up.

I do hope you understand!  I also hope you realize how much you are loved by so many people and that adoption is a wonderful way to have the most unique and special family and extended family ever!

We love you baby boy!

Friday, September 7, 2012


Ashton's happy place is outside.  It doesn't matter if it is hot or rainy.  OUTSIDE=HAPPINESS!  This winter should be interesting!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Ariana Nicole

Today I received a text from Ms. Taylor that she gave birth to a little girl today..Ashton's 1/2 sister....6 weeks early just like Ashton.  She was 6 lbs and 3 ozs.  Apparently she has lots of dark hair.  Her name is Ariana Nicole.  She is currently in the nicu at the Hagerstown hospital because she had some trouble with breathing intially, but from all reports she seems to have improved tremendously.

It appears as if Ms. Taylor wanted to keep with the A theme:  Annabelle, Ashton, and now Ariana.  Hopefully I can post a picture of her soon. I believe she is choosing to parent Ariana because the birth father is willing to be involved.   I am filled with mixed emotions about the whole thing especially since at one point she asked us if we would consider parenting the unborn little girl. 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Word Wall

I remember when I lived in Guatemala our roommate Erin recorded her daughter's vocabulary words until she no longer could keep up. So I want to try!

Da (doggy)
eat eat

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Strong Sense of Self

Could I be any cuter?

Well Ashton has officially departed the infant stage and has entered into the toddler stage!  He has a strong sense of self with both a mind and a will of his own.  Interrupt his plans...and you get huge temper tantruns, including throwing himself down the ground and crying!

I guess the good thing about this is that developmental the last weeks he has had a developmental jump.  At his 15 month Dr. appt. the pediatrician recommended we contact infant and toddlers to have Ashton evaluated since he still was verbalizing language.  She was concerned that he was using his motor skills to compinsate for not using language.  Well fast forward 2 to 3 weeks and all of sudden he started doing all the things the pediatrician thought he should be doing.  In fact, the infant and toddlers teacher's said he was about 18 months on psychomotor and about 14 months on his social/verbal.  He now says mamma, dadda, uh oh, ta da, hot and he tries to mimic other words like outside.  He knows Lily and puppy...and gets very excited when we say those words.  He alss loves to wave to everyone.

Ashton has gotten really comfortable in the water as well.  He has very little fear.  He wades out very far not wanting anyone to hold onto him.  When you ask him if he wants to swim, he lies on his belly and kicks his legs and his little arms are in a superman pose.

Lastly this summer Ashton has the opportunity to paint two times...needless to say the photographs are quite fun!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Jibber Jabbering Monkey boy

Caught in the act!

So excited!

Got caught!

4th of July fun at the Baker Park Creek

Who me?

Ashton is so cute nowdays.  He is jibber jabbering all the time!  I wish you could capture it in a photograph!  Who knows what he is saying, but he goes on and on!  So cute!  Physically he is absolutely fearless!  You turn around for one second and he has climbed on a chair or table.  Give him another few days and he will have mastered both the sofa and the bed. At the playground he loves to climb up and down stairs and try to climb up the slide.  He also goes down the twirly slide at Baker Park all by himself.   He continues to love the water!  Any chance he can find just the slightest drop of water, he will indulge! bowl....etc.  Olav says he even understands the word bath and get all excited and goes to the bathtub trying to turn it on!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Nearly 14 months!

Wow hard to believe 14 months have flown by!  Ashton is one adorable and busy dude!  He is totally our outdoor boy!  If he is outside he is happy.  If he is brought no happy!  We ended up tying baby gates to both the front and side door so he can go outside on the porches safely if we are inside.  He has spent many happy hours playing on his chair on the front porch!

He is also really beginning to communicate.   When he wants to eat sometimes he will point his finger into his mouth.  Sometimes he will do the sign for more when he wants more.  Sometimes when he wants something he'll come up to you with his hand like he wants you to take it and then walk with you to what he wants.

When he doesn't get what he wants or something is taken away from him, he let's you know in no uncertain circumstances that he is mad!  Oh the will of a toddler!

Also next Friday we celebrate Ashton's Heir Day!  The day Ashton officially became a Gjerde!  What a blessing he is to us!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Rock eater, Toilet, Bathtub and Dog water bowl swimmer, Poop explorer

Well Ashton is officially into EVERYTHING!  Absolutely nothing is safe or sacred!  He CANNOT be trusted ALONE ever!  If it's too quiet...something is definitely up!

So first there are the rocks/pebbles...he loves to eat them by the matter how many times we tell him no and take them out of his mouth, he finds a way to get them back in his mouth....yuck!  And it doesn't matter what size the rock is....if he finds little ones great....bigger ones...even better!

Then there is the water temptation.  It comes from every location.  The dogs' water bowl in the kitchen.  The toilet and the bathtub.  Today he decided to throw blue (his blue teddy bear lovey) into the bathtub.  While reaching for it, he slipped forward and dove head first into the bathtub with Lily fully clothed and shoed.  Thank goodness I was there to pull him out.  I think he was a little shook up, but then a few minutes later he went to do it again!

Olav reports one of the grossest adventures...the diaper genie.  Apparently Olav left a dirty diaper on top of the diaper genie (instead of flipping it down into the trash bag inside).  Ashton got ahold of the dirty diaper.  Well you can imagine what he did with that dirty diaper as he smeared poop everywhere on his little self and the area around him!  Gross!  Glad I missed that one!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter fun!

Ashton had his first "try" at the easter egg hunt! He found 1 camaflouge egg with the help of his supportive fans. He enjoyed shaking it and hearing the sounds inside!

1 year old!

Hard to believe tommorow Ashton will be one year old! Time really flew! What a joy he is! He walks all over the place. Loves to be outside. Is very mommy and daddy centric! We had professional photos taken of him recently and I will post them when I receive them! We had a family birthday party for him this weekend! Not 100% sure what he thought of the cake...He took a bite, but really just wanted the frosting off his hands!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

It's amazing the changes in 2 weeks!

On Monday Ashton and Olav returned from their visit trip to Norway for 12 days. Boy did I miss them! It is amazing how much Ashton has changed in just two short weeks! Before the trip he was taking up to 11 steps. Now he is a walking maniac. He can occassionally has been "caught running". He can manuever his walking toy with ease. Pulling it backwards and forwards, moving it to where he wants it to go. Not only is he walking, but he is climbing. Climbing the bathroom stool, the baseboard heaters, climbing onto his tippy toes to reach the door handle. Not only is he super mobile, he is super verbal. Before he left for Norway was a man of few words. Now he is a babbling and yaking constantly! He says "G" and "da da". Plus he has the cute new thing he does when he looks at you and lifts up one arm up in the if to say "so big". Hopefully I can snap a picture of it soon! If we thought he was a daddy's boy before the trip...he is totally a daddy's boy now. Mommy is officially chopped liver! Ashton can be fine, then daddy walks into the room...and all of sudden Ashton fusses and wants to be picked up by his daddy!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Frequent Buyer Card at the Pediatric Center

February 2012 will forever go down in the books as the month when the nurses and doctors at the Pediatric Center in Frederick became our best friends, and how I really think they need to start a frequent buyer card!

Ashton after his hemotoma scare, managed to spend a good portion of his weekends in the pediatric center for a bacterial eye infection called periorbital cellulits. Originally he looked like he had been punched in the eye. It went down, only to return shortly after finishing his first round of antiboitics. Now he is on round two and I can only hope this time we nixed it!

In other news...Ashton has offically outgrown his infant car seat. Hard to believe he is getting so big.

He is almost walking. He is now taking 2 to 3 steps at time! He has really good balance! I really want him see him "walk" before he goes to Norway next week! I don't want to miss his first fluid multi-step walk!

He has taken a liking to big people food! He eats almost anything that we offer him.
He loves his daddy! The sun rises and sets on daddy! As long as daddy is in the room no one else exists. If daddy leaves the room, Ashton is a mess! I think Olav has a love-hate relationship with the situation. On the one hand he loves that fact that Ashton is very attached to him and looks to him for most everything. But as you can imagine, it makes it very difficult for Olav to get anything done because he has a baby hemmoroid clinging to his legs constantly

He loves banging stuff on tables, daddys guitar, the floor etc. I really do thing we have a mini music prodigy. He also will dance whenever their is music on...very cute...sometimes he doesn't even need music!

Lily has been such a super big sister to him. He adores her! My happiest moments as a parent are when the two of them are playing and laughing together!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Hematoma Head

Well when Ashton was younger we called him baby bobble head, but after this week he has a new nickname: Hematoma Head.

The little man gave us a real scare this week. On Tuesday when I got home from work, he was crawling on the floor and "tripped" over himself and caught himself with his face. Needless to say his mouth took a little beating and bleed a small bit. While I was comforting him, I was patting his head....all of a sudden I noticed something wasn't right. A large portion of his head felt spongy. I immediately called the pediatrician, who asked us to come in. The pediatrician agreed that this was not right, so they sent us to the pediatriac emergency room. While there, it was decided Ashton needed a CAT scan to determine whether the bleeding on his skull was underneath the skull or above the skull. It would also show if he had a skull fracture. Fortunately their was not internal bleeding or skull fracture. They also tested his blood to make sure their wasn't any bleeding disorders that might of caused the hematoma since no one was aware of any direct trauma he experienced to his head and a lack of bruising. This too came back fine. We are very thankful for that!

But for now on he is going to wear a helmet.....and I now affectionately refer to him as Hematoma Head!

Friday, January 13, 2012

9 months old!

Ashton went for his 9 month old check up today. He currently weighs 20 lbs and 6 oz, he is 29 inches long. He continues to be super busy. He can crawl everywhere. He loves to stand. He hasn't quite figured out how to lower himself down yet. He has started exploring "real food". He has eaten cheerios, beef, and pretzels. He likes to babble....he consistently says is super fun to watch! We are truly enjoying being his parents!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

"I didn't do it mom, really!"
So Proud!

Wow hard to believe it's 2012. I wish I could either slow down time or just freeze baby Ashton in time. Now that he is feeling better (the Dr. thought he had an ear infection that ruptured) he is back to his happy active self. He has officially begun to crawl. He loves to pull up, stand up and walk with assistance. His 1st Christmas was fun! He really enjoyed the boxes and bows.