Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Clean Teeth

Today was Cullen's first dentist appointment. He was a really good sport about everything, and his dentist was great. We got to discuss with a nurse, a hygienist, and the dentist about him still using the bottle. Not fun. The fun part was playing in the waiting room.

As Cullen nears the 15 month mark (when he's supposed to be only using cups), I find it somewhat embarrassing that he refuses. I feel like some sort of failure to admit to others that I can't coerce my one year old away from a bottle. The problem is that I think he's smarter than I am. He knows I'll cave sooner or later. He can go an entire day without fluids with no complaint when a cup is around. I keep thinking he'll see the other kids at school using a cup and think it's a good idea, but his swagger in the classroom proves me wrong. How did I wind up with a stubborn child? Haha.

The good news is that he doesn't fall to sleep with the bottle. The dentist told us that is her primary concern. He'll take a cup sooner or later. Hopefully sooner. Until then, I'll keep trying, and he'll keep laughing at me. At least we know our dynamic.

The last week has been incredibly busy, but we're staying on top of things. This Friday is one of my days off, so I've already got it scheduled full of fun things like pictures for Cullen, grooming for Scout, and cleaning my closet. My other fun task of doing taxes was completed Monday night. There's something to be thankful for.

This weekend, we'll be spending time with friends and getting plenty of play time in for Cullen. A Saturday play date with Noah and a Sunday play date with Hadley. We live a full and blessed life. So very blessed!

xoxo Ashley

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

New Ears, New Man

Last week, Cullen got tubes put in his ears. James and I were both mildly anxious about the procedure, but Texas Children's is amazing and everything went great. Cullen was away from us a little more than 30 minutes, and we had him home within the hour.
Cullen has always been a pretty happy baby, but the difference we've seen in the last week has been incredible. He is happier, more balanced, more vocal, and quite the dancer. He is talking up a storm, and it is so much fun to actually understand him! It is actually visible how much better he understands us, and that makes me pretty happy. His balance has improved markedly, and he has picked up some running man dancing skills. As soon as the music starts, he runs in place. It can be a commercial, the radio, or his Charlie Brown doll. He does not discriminate. The kid loves to move!
Needless to say, he gets cuter every single day. He makes me so proud. I am so in love. How blessed am I to have such a great kid?

xoxo Ashley

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Life is full of obstacles. Literal ones, figurative ones. Physical ones, emotional ones. The neat thing is that we can all view those obstacles as things that stand in our way, or we can recognize them as opportunities to help us grow. Every single day of our lives, we face obstacles. Some days those obstacles are mean people, some days they are actual, physical obstacles in our paths.

In a couple of months, I will be running the Warrior Dash. Those are physical obstacles. In the past couple of months, my obstacles have been more of the emotional variety. We have had a lot of illness in our home and in our families. We've had some tough times, but I'm here to say that things are looking up. The past couple of months will be a tough memory, but nothing more. The Shuler family will remain victorious in life! I think the Warrior Dash will be an endurance test for me. I'm proving to myself that I can do it. Just because I want to. I'm sure there will be pictures available upon completion.

Cullen is running all over the place these days. He is a wild child. A screaming banshee. I love it. I love watching him learn how to make things work. Over the last couple of days, Cullen has learned how to utilize the remote in our upstairs living room. He loves to sit in his little chair and turn the fans on and off. When I'm reading, he enjoys turning the lights on and off. Cute little guy.

We spent a long weekend in Birmingham over the last week. We got to spend some much needed time with family, and we got to remember my grandparents. Even though it was stressful, I wouldn't trade that weekend for anything. We laughed, we cried, we shared. It was wonderful!

I came home with an awful lot of new-to-me things. I'm looking forward to the next holiday when I can use my extended collection of china. Stunningly beautiful and oh so delicate. I love that I'll have another wonderful reminder of my grandmother on the holidays.

I also brought home so many priceless mementos. One of them is a cookbook that my grandmother used and made notes in. She actually created menus out of this cookbook and wrote them on the inside binding. I am hoping to invite my parents over for Easter dinner this year so that I can re-create the Easter menu my grandmother used every single year. I'm a lucky girl to be able to share this with others!

Even more exciting were the books and photos. Some of the books were gifts to my grandmother over the years from me. It was fun to look through and see what she had marked up and made notes in. My favorite book is the 1898 edition family bible. As is our family record. Births, deaths, marriages. It was bittersweet to make my first entry when adding my grandmother, but I'm so incredibly proud to know that my family trusts me to carry on this tradition.

Our bookshelves are a little more crowded this week, but I wouldn't have it any other way. Those bookshelves might be a reflection of our lives. Busy, full, bursting at the seams, and beautiful. Perfect for us.

xoxo Ashley

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy New Year

It's hard to believe that another new year is upon us already. As I changed Cullen's first diaper of the new year, I realized that he is experiencing his third calendar year. He's not quite fourteen months old, but he's been around for 2009, 2010, and now 2011. Wow.

He sure seems like a little boy these days. He's wearing little boy shoes. He has a little boy haircut. He runs like a little boy. He laughs like a little boy. Watching him grow makes me think about how much I want another baby. It also makes me think about how much I want to just enjoy Cullen forever. We'll see how that one turns out.

New Year's was low key and perfect. We invited the neighbors over, we set off some fireworks, and we enjoyed a nice dinner at home. I loved spending that time with my little family. It reminds me how blessed we really are.

This week, we're preparing for our next big road trip. We'll be leaving on Thursday morning for Birmingham to say our final goodbyes to my grandmother. My heart is breaking with the idea of it. I wish we didn't have to make this trip, and I wish she wasn't gone. Luckily, I'll always have memories.

xoxo Ashley