Friday, January 30, 2009

My Big Birthday Boy is 3!













Well, my baby boy is now the big 3. I'm not quite sure how that happened, but in all honestly I have no idea how I have an almost 9 year old either. Goes to show that the cliched saying "they grow up too fast" is so, so, so very true :( I still remember the wonderful January 30, 2006 when after a fairly brief and "easy" labor out popped this handsome little man. I was (almost) shocked off the birthing table to say the least. I always figured we'd just be a house full of girls (plus daddy)...but apparently God had some "boy joy" he wanted to add to our mix. And we've enjoyed every second of our little ball of testosterone ever since. From his early days of puking at the sight of any solid food to his new love of toast and his 3rd birthday dinner request (the ever popular baby food sweet potatoes)....and a lot more other fun stuff smushed into these past 36 months...it's been a wild ride with our Dilly Boy. But, it all has made us love our little man even more in spite of his funny quirks. We are so blessed by his wonderful, loving, yet feisty nature. He is the best little boy this mama could ever have (and a wonderful little bro and big bro too!). I love you, sweet son, Dylan James. God surely blessed us with the best son in the world when he gave you to us all those years ago. Here's to many more wonderful years of you bringing us laughter and joy...and to maybe overcoming some obstacles this year (i.e...no more diapers and no more baby food!). Mommy's so proud of you, big boy, and I hope you liked your Bob and Larry Veggie Tale birthday cake tonight (fyi, he did...and he said that was all he wanted for his b-day :)).

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Lots of Snow, Lots of Changes and Some Wonderful Friends...









Phew...what a week this has been! First off...as you can see from above, we got "some" snow. Actually it turns out it was the most snow we've seen in over a decade (I've not lived here that long so I wouldn't know :))...I think Bloomy saw over 13 inches....and it's still snowing! I know you Michiganders are laughing to read about this gigantic number...but, hey..we live in southern Indiana...usually all the snow misses us. Soooooo....with loads of snow came 3 days off school (yes, you read that right)...and on Wed. our little town was pretty much shut down.

It's been a crazy week of being shut-in, but the kids had a ball (see above) playing in the snow (with their new sleds) :) Even Ash had a smile on while playing in the white stuff (and if you look really closely in the first pic you might notice a little pink bundle in our front yard...hee, hee...she fell asleep while we were playing outside and she looked so sweet I had to set her in the snow and snap a pic...I know...crazy mama! :)). Anyway....and with that change in weather also came a change in "dos" :) You'd think winter and snow would make you want to keep your hair long...but our kiddos decided they all wanted a lil' cut...and so on our snow day today we made a jaunt to super cuts and off came their lovely dreds :) The girls got really short cuts and were soooooooo excited. Hailey's been wanting bangs forever and she was really stoked about her choppy ones that I talked her into (she wanted the straight across ones originally, but mama so did not think that would look cool on an almost-9-year-old :)). She's so excited by her new do and keeps touching it and combing it (she's never been able to use a comb before :)). And Shelby....well, you can see by her face that she LOVES her short cut. She wanted it even shorter (like a friend at preschool)...a bob and shaved in the back, but mama nixed that...so this was our compromise and she is thrilled...it's hard to wipe the smile off her face and she's so excited to never use hair things again :) I never knew new do's could make our girls so happy, but apparently they can! Dylan definitely needed his hair cut (as you can see by the before pic)...and I had to have it done before his big b-day tomorrow!

And.....with all those changes came some big changes in our home. I really can't even put into words how blessed I feel by wonderful small group friends. I know I've mentioned them before and how they are constantly showering me and our family with love and support. Well, when I had my meltdown last month and again this month they knew I needed some serious organizational help. So....last week at a lunch gathering we had, they sat me down and insisted that it was time I LET them help :) So...the plans were made and today was day. All three of them came with cleaning supplies in hand and their little work hands ready to go...they were like my own personal merry maids....except better...they came with food too (yep, they came bearing breakfast, lunch and dinner for me/us!). Now how amazing is that?! I can't even put into words how much their kind hearts mean to me. In the 5 hours they had here (w/o kids...we have 15 kids between the 4 of us and all but Ash were out of our hands/being babysitted...and Ash slept over 4 hours in that time...that was a God-send). And those dear friends of mine just went to town on our messy, cluttered house. One organized our basement (see pic above...and kudos to daddy Kev who spent the whole night before building our new shelving system for our basement...it's awesome!)....and my other sweet friends went to town on our upstairs closets and rooms (namely Shelby's :))...oh, and they cleaned our bathrooms too. And the outcome is amazing...not to mention it was just fun to fellowship and have some friendly support (and to not have kiddos there to undo what we just did...at least right away :)). So, that was our busy day yesterday. I am so incredibly grateful to these wonderful friends....not only for all the hard work they put into making our house more livable, but for caring enough to insist that I set aside my pride and let them help me so I can try to get my life back in order. It's amazing to me how kind-hearted people can be and these friends are definitely special servants in my eyes :) I can't thank them enough. Oh...and the kids were thrilled with their new, cleaner house (I even overheard Hailey telling her friend how clean our house was now...so you know it's better if she says so!) :) :) They can finally play with toys that have been so unorganized or tucked away in random places....and they love their new organizational things (i.e....who knew the over-the-door organizers were so awesome?? I use them for shoes, but now I'm using them for gloves and hats and even the kids have them on the back of their doors for random stuff like hair things, etc). So, it was a crazy, bizarre, but successful week and now it's time to get my big boy's birthday cake ready for his big day tomorrow....wow, 3 years old...crazy!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Truth about Us Stegs :)


 

 

 

 


Been a busy snow day here in Bloomy...no school and mama and the kiddos are going stir crazy. It's been one loooooong day. Daddy took the day "off" and I think he's been gone more today than a normal day...busy working on building our new shelving system in the basement (or rather getting and cutting materials). So, to pass the time I thought I'd do a quick post about the reality of the Steg house (and some of the many faces you'd see if you were a fly on the wall in our home :))...just in case you think we're all smiles and happiness.....here's a few pics to show you otherwise (or to reinforce that point :))...one middle girl who has her girly glare down cold (and, yes, we see this face a few dozen times a day :))...one baby girl who has made a hobby of puking (so fun!) :)....a crazy mama and dada who still love each other amidst the chaos :)...a big girl who can turn her beautiful eyes into a scene from a scary movie, and a boy who loves to throw his own drama into the mix with his stubborn boy tantrums (remember this "fun" day at the tree farm, Nina and Pops?! :)). We're just one happy family, aren't we?! :) Happy Snow Day!
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Monday, January 26, 2009

Randomness

 

 

 

 


Well, just a quick random post (with pics!) to let ya' know we're alive and kickin'. It was a crazy busy weekend for our Steg gang (nothing unusual there)...we normally try to keep our weekends in tune with our new "laid back Steg mode"....but we just had a bunch of extras pop up that left us worn and ragged this Monday. Hailey's back in ballet as of last week so that also made our week (and end) more crazy (oh joy)...and then we took a little jaunt to Indy to eat at a yummy Brazilian restaurant in honor of Poppy Stegs' b-day. Yesterday was Baby Dedication at our church so Miss Ash was up on stage with us and she was so "impacted" by the whole ordeal that she did a nice big blow-out poop right there during the service :) We celebrated afterwards with a very yummy brunch at our IU Tudor Room (I think the last time we were there was for Dylan's dedication 2 1/2 years ago). Thanks to Nina and Poppy S. for all the great food and fun times!

So...just a busy weekend...and lots of other little things going on too. We failed on our Sat. clean-up day (where our kids go to our wonderful aunt and uncle's)...but we did figure out some shelving/organizational solutions for our basement (unfortunately they involve daddy Kev making something in his "free time"...not ideal, but better than nothing...and hopefully he'll get that done on his "day off" tomorrow). So, that was that. And now it's Monday and we just got back from the doc's. I can't even tell you how shocked I am that my 4 month old is almost 17lbs (16lbs, 12oz and 25 3/4inches). She is now half the weight of her brother (who is big too!). Now why do my babies have to go and grow up on me?! And now my sweet lil' Ashley girl is crying her head off thanks to those lovely shots (which she didn't seem to notice that she got til she was home...she hardly cried when they poked her!). Anyway....so that's a quick update and hopefully I'll have more pics to come later in the week. Happy Monday!
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(P.S. I'm posting my pics differently at the moment cuz I can't figure out the old way on our new computer, but this way won't let me put comments under them....so just an FYI....I love the above pic of Ash during her first swing adventure at our fav. park in Delray Beach, FL...she just loved it! And I couldn't help posting that funny pic of Dylan in his red hat and pants and bow tie from Nina G...I think he looks like Captain Kangaroo! The bow was originally for Ash's hair...Nina thought it was a headband...Ash didn't agree...she refused to wear it :)). So, Dylan took the honors :) And then Hailey at the Steg Christmas with her new AG doll from N&P S. (Kaya...#3 doll for her :))...she was so surprised and excited! And Shelba on her first day of ice-skating a couple weeks ago...if that face doesn't show happiness then I don't know what does! :))

Friday, January 23, 2009

A Lil' Teaser :)

 


Just a little peek into the fun our lil' Steg fam has had lately. I wish I could post more, but it's "clean up the clutter" weekend again and duty calls...but more pics to come next week, hopefully. Sorry to tease you Northerners with such a lovely FL beach pic...but I need a little sunshine and pick-me-up right now so thinking about the waves and heat makes me smile :) And for those of you in FL there is no need to rub it in our faces :) Happy Friday and Happy Weekend! :)
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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Need I say more :)

 

 

 


Hey Peeps, it's me Ash again...I did such a good job blog-jacking last night that I thought I'd do it again. Plus you made mama chuckle with what you all said and she needs some smiles lately...so if I can get her some laughs then I'm all about that! I just had to show off my cool shirt from Auntie/Neighbor/Friend/Awesome person Jill (Hootiemama as you all know her :). She got this for me before I was even born and now that I've chubbed out I am looking so cool sporting this jersey around town. I am one stylin' baby and I sure know it. And I love to make mama laugh with my many comical faces (check out my oh-so-serious face above...grrr...I have my girly glare down already!). Hope life is good in your 'hood. I've been laying low today...no poops to speak of and only a small puddle of puke...but the day is not over yet and I have been known to have a few surprises up my sleeve (or other parts of my body :)). Being a baby is tough stuff! Peace out and stay cool! XOXOXO Ash Baby
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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

4 months...

 
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Hey There! This is Ashley (aka "Baby Ash")....I've never done this before, but I thought it was about time to hijack (blog-jack?) mom's blog. She's been so busy lately with things that she hasn't had time to post many pics, and in honor of my 4 month b-day today I thought I'd post a pic of myself taken today :) Aren't I one big cute chubba bubba....well, mom sure thinks so. She tells me every day what a cutie I am...and, well, I guess I'll agree with her, cuz mom always knows best :)

Take it from me...life in our house is crazy. I watch all the chaos all day long from the good ol' bumbo, swing and exersaucer...sometimes I even join in and whimper here and there and I've been know to raise a few eyebrows with my poops (I did 4 blow-outs yesterday...I was proud!) and there is no question that I could win awards for my puking...I work real hard at that! Hey...I just don't want anyone to forget I'm here...sometimes being 1 of 4 is rough...but I am certain to make myself known.

Anyway...it's sure great being 4 mos old. I am learning to roll over (front to back)...I did it again today for mommy to see. And I'm really working on sitting up on my own, but when you're big and roly poly like me...well you get a little top heavy and it makes upright positions difficult. I'm working on it, but in all honesty I'd much rather chow on mama's milk than work on silly stuff like baby milestones :) So, you get my drift...life is busy around here. But, dada's been working hard getting all our pics on our new computer and it's finally done as of tonight...so be on the lookout for some new (and old) pics me and my crazy family. Time to chow and slumber...nighty night and peace out! XOXOXO, Ash :)

Monday, January 19, 2009

Time for Change...

Well, change is coming to the Steg household...it's gonna be gradual...but it's definitely in the works...

This weekend was the start of "the new Steg household". Now ya'll know I had a bit of a mental meltdown last month and I had a continuation of that meltdown a couple weeks ago...not quite as dramatic, but it definitely brought to light that we need to be making some changes around here.

So...the new plan is in place...or is "in the works". We want to get our house in order so this tired mama feels more at peace in this living space. The clutter and chaos of our lives is bringing me down big time lately and on top of the hormones I am still experiencing and the exhaustion from this season of our life...well, I am just one basket case half the time (or more).

The new plan is this: Kev's Awesome Aunt Kim and Uncle Randy and 3 wonderful cousins have graciously offered to watch our kiddos every Saturday all day so Kev and I can have time to get our home more organized. We hated to even ask this of them, but if you know them it's obvious they have huge hearts and are happy to help in any way they can (plus our kids love them!). They too remember this crazy time in their lives and we are so grateful for their big hearts and willingness to lend a hand in such a huge way. So....the plan started this weekend and I am thrilled to report that I got almost our entire bedroom cleaned up and cleared out (if you've seen our bedroom in the last couple months you know what a HUGE task this was) I felt such a huge boulder lifted off my shoulder when it was all said and done. Our over-cluttered desk and computer are now in the basement (phew!) and Baby Ash now has her own corner (which in our very big master bedroom is a perfect place for her...we almost don't even notice she's there!) :). And all the laundry has been put away (finally!)...and the piles of clutter have been cleared. I am so pleased with the progress and if we keep this up in a couple months our whole house should be spic and span! It's amazing to me that just cleaning up one room can give me a whole different outlook on life....

Anyway...so the decluttering has started and I hope it continues cuz I want this house to be more functional and liveable and right now it's driving me batty. I am a perfectionist at heart who used to scrub my floors with a toothbrush so the mess and dust that is here now drives me batty. I just want to be able to "do it all"....which I know is impossible with 4 kids unless I never sleep (which is NOT possible if you know me :)). So, life is slightly better on this Monday morning after a weekend of some cleaning.....

Oh, and hanging out with some great friends this weekend also helped lighten the load. Friday night I had a wonderful girls-only get-together with my small group friends. They are such dear, sweet girls...and it was wonderful to be pampered and cooked for and to sit and chat and share our hearts. And on Sat. night we had our usual BBF get-together with our bestest buds. They made us a yummy dinner and even made me a super-delicious chocolate heart cake for my b-day. Love you, Dave and Heather and Fam! It was good to sit and relax and hang out with good friends. I am constantly reminded how God has surrounded us with such wonderful and supportive people...friends who don't even care if I'm in a downer mood and need a good cry. We are blessed for sure.

Add on top of that we have had some great family time lately...which is also part of our "new plan for the new year". We hope to have 1 or 2 nights a week with nothing going on so we can spend time with just us 6. So far that has included a couple movie nights (last night it was the Prince Caspian Narnia movie, which I fell asleep during and also had nightmares about :)). But, we hope to continue this tradition and have more "quiet times" at home...cuz I really want to make our family time a priority...and let all the other "stuff" go by the wayside. I'm tired of running all over God's green earth taking kids to activities, nursing the baby in the van and running around like a chicken with my head cut off...it's way overrated

Anyway....so that's the new life of the Steg fam!

I am also happy to announce that we have our new computer finally set up and working! I had to go w/o internet for a few days which was torturous, but Kev assures me that soon I will be able to access all my Christmas pics...yay! So, be looking for that post soon!

So, happy MLK Day today and Happy Inauguration Day tomorrow and Happy Changes for the Steg Fam! Adios!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A Year Ago Today...

...we got the phonecall that would change our world for the 4th time!

....the one where you fall to your knees in utter thanksgiving, shock and disbelief.....it was the day we found out we were expecting our sweet baby Ash. Honestly, that day is a blurr to me, but I know how very excited and somewhat nervous we were to join the ranks of "a family of six". There's just no words to describe that moment you find out for sure that you are carrying life inside you (for me it was with a blood test every time...the pee sticks didn't convince us enough) :) I still remember calling Nina in FL and having a somewhat normal conversation and halfway through saying "Well, I have something to tell you...."....to which she said VERY repeatedly "Don't even tell me, don't even tell me....". I think she was more worried than anything...worried for our sanity (and for good reason...look at me know...insanity at its best!) :) But, I wouldn't change our crazy world for anything.....just look at what a year it's been and what we've been blessed with. Little Ashley Claire is one of our greatest joys...one of four greatest blessings :) And I can't imagine life w/o her in it. I know that's so cliched to say, but lately I've gotten so caught up in the mess of our house and the chaos of our life that I don't sit and think....what a blessing these babies are, what a blessing the chaos and craziness, lack of sleep and exhaustion is that comes along with them.....I would not want to be anywhere else in life right now that where I am.....

So, WOW, to what has happened since last January....and to the beauty of Ashley that was only a sweet thought in our mind this time last year....now she's this roly poly almost 4 month old....so smiley and sweet and precious! Thank you, Lord, for smiling down on us in such a way a year ago....no words can describe our humble hearts :)





a few of the many faces of Ash....remember this outfit that Hailey and Nina G. gave me when I was pg...the one where Hailey picked it out at Gymboree all by herself with the matching blanket...it's one of my favs. on Ashley now!
And I'm not sure how one cannot smile at this pic...check out the boots and that big smile! She's ready for our arctic weather that's for sure...and what baby doesn't need a pair of Robeez boots...they are like "uggs for babies"....love them...thanks, Nina and Poppy S.!
The deer-in-the-headlights look...a normal look for our Steg babies :) And, yes, we have another light-eyed baby....we're hoping Niece/Cousin Brooke has the brown eyes, cuz none of our babies got them from me!
Ash loving the pile of toys her siblings piled on her new Bumbo tray (thanks Nina and Pops G for the tray....Ashley loves it!)
We can turn over now (well, it was only accomplished once in daddy's presence, but that counts!)....and we love this play mat from Nina and Pops G! What a big girl we have :)...and the smile below on Christmas Eve says it all....we are blessed.....

Monday, January 12, 2009

I'm an Aunt...


...and more importantly....my brother and sister-in-law are parents!!!!

YAY!!!!

Brooke Addison just made her long-awaited debut into this world about an hour ago (at 2:43p.m.)

She's not the sumo-baby I had predicted she'd be, even being almost a week overdue, but she was a lovely manageable 7lbs, 5 oz (which, I'm sure, mama Candy would say is BIG enough after pushing her out for some time!). They don't have a length on her yet...I think they were waiting on her bath to do that. But, all went well with the induction. Candy and Jeff got to the hospital at 5am to get things started and by 7am, I think, the pitocin was doing its job. Candy was still 1cm when she got there, but a few hours later she was 3cm and then a few hours later she was 10 (or so it seemed to me who was getting my quick updates from Nina, who was lucky enough to see the whole birth :)). So, not too shabby for a first labor...you go, Candy!

Oh, and Brooke is a beauty, I hear. She looks just like her mama (phew...no girly looking Jeff :)) :) and is wide and alert with head of brown hair.

So, yippee, yay, yay we have our first niece and our kiddos have their first cousin! If only we could meet the newest Gritz girl. Ah well...for now we'll have to live through pics (which I don't have yet)....and hopefully we'll meet up with Baby Brooke in NC this summer.

So, here's to our newest, beautiful girl in the family. Baby Ash is doing a happy dance now that she's no longer the youngest in the fam! And she can't wait to hang with her close-in-age cousin! Congrats, Jeff and Candy...so glad your sweet daughter is finally here!

I'm not sure if they'll be updating the blog soon, but here's that address in case she does.....
http://gritzfamilyof3.blogspot.com

(and since I still don't have some real proof (photos!) of Baby Brooke, here's a pic of the cousins today sending a blog-welcome to the newest family member...don't let the lack of enthusiasm on Ash and Dylan's faces fool you...they are thrilled about their first cousin's arrival! :) Shelba is gloating cuz she got to hold the coveted "Brooke" sign :))

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Silly girls :)

This pic is for Nina from FL to make her smile while she's awaiting stubborn granddaughter Brooke's arrival in GA (Candy is now a few days overdue and due to be induced on Monday). Anyway....here's our silly girls a month ago when Nina visited...showing off their lovely tongues after Christmas cookie making :) The girls saw this pic this morning and requested it be put on the blog :) Shelb pointed out that you can only see one of Ash's eyes...she didn't like that Ash wasn't completely in the pic :) We miss you, Nina G.!

Friday, January 9, 2009

One Up...


Well, it's finally Shelby's turn to shine....not that she hasn't "shone" before....but things are finally starting to go her way lately....by that I mean to say that she is finally getting some stuff that her big sister is a tad bit jealous of :) And believe me, Shelba is eating it up BIG time!

Last night was Shelba's first time ice-skating. Honestly, I've kinda put off involving her in this kind of activity cuz I really thought that she'd be slightly wimpy when it came to falling...and Shelb has been known to whine here and there about a "few" things :).....and maybe that would have been the case last night too....until....she heard how badly Hailey wanted to do the same activity (fyi: Hailey has tried out a hand (or foot) at ice-skating back at Shelb's age...it didn't go well...crying, etc...so we never sent her back)....anyway....so you can imagine the glimmer in Shelb's eyes when she was going to be doing something Big Sis REALLY wanted to do and was not allowed to do.....and to make matters even more joyous for Shelby (and more torturous for Hailey)....Big Sis had to sit and watch the entire time (usually it's everyone watching Hailey :)). Honestly...you just have to see the pics to really marvel at the joy in Shelby's eyes...it was priceless. And, ya' know what....our girl did GREAT skating...she fell numerous times and not a whimper or a moan or groan...and ever since she's been asking to go back!

Ah, the sweetness of finally having "one-up" on your big sister. It was a joyous day indeed for our lil' Shelby Grace! And....this all coming right on the heels of Nina in FL secretly telling Shelby that she liked her bedroom the best of all the Steg kids! Which I guess is no longer a secret since I've blurted it out to blog-world :) (but so far Shelb has kept that lil' secret on the down-low!) So now Shelby is really beaming with delight over her special-ness. But, it's all good and I'm happy for our middle girl. She's needs some spotlight sometimes esp. after all the hoopla surrounding Hailey and her wonderful-ness, Dylan and his boy-ness and Ash and her baby-cuteness. So, here's to more "one-upping" for Miss Shelba! You go, girl! (and hopefully I can post those ice-skating pics soon...you will laugh to see the HUGE grin on her face the whole time!)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Aging Gracefully :)

Thought I'd do a little b-day recap in honor of my old self :) So, here's a few more pics to pass the time til I get around to recapping Christmas (which, with my luck will be in February!). Anyway...here's me, the old lady, on my 32nd b-day in FL with that baby I had no idea I was carrying on my last b-day (also in FL) :) Look at her now...one big chubba-bubba (did I tell ya' she's about 16lbs now!)...I just love this sweet roly poly baby!!
Us on the road on my b-day (or more specifically at a rest-stop) in GA...this is the one that Kev said smelled like poop :)
Us out by the pool in FL at my parent's house on my big day....check out trendy Hailey with her scarf, hat and vest. She makes me laugh with her diva-ish dressing habits, but truth be known she probably has more style than me!
New Year's Day (aka Gritz Christmas), Nina and the kids surprised me with an early b-day mint pie. Ok, so the pie wasn't actually made for my b-day (I don't think)...but Nina was kind enough to put 5 (3+2) candles on it and sing to me :) These pics are in reverse order...I'm laughing here cuz Dylan just took initiative and blew out all the candles for me! Good thing cuz mama is not as full of hot air as she used to be!
About to blow out the candles....then Dylan comes from behind Nina and does it for me!
And the darling cake that my wonderful bro and sis-in-law got for me (thanks, guys!). Isn't it too cute! Can you tell those fleshy things are laughing people? Shelby couldn't...I think she though they were thumbs and didn't understand why that was so funny :)
Me and my kiddos on my big day (at Jeff and Candy's house in GA)...Shelby HAD to hold the cake...and Dylan is up to his normal "holding mommy's hair" pose :) Ash is in outfit #4 of the day after some doosy poops and pukes :)

And then here is the super yummy cake my awesome pal Jill and fam surprised me with a couple days ago...a completely chocolate Cold Stone Creamery cake. Nothing could be better than that!!! We almost always cater to daddy and his chocolate aversion (aka: love for vanilla, which actually mama also enjoys)...but this time mama got a cake all her own.....which unfortunately ALL the kids happened to love too so I only got half of it....but, boy, was it yummy!!! Thanks, Hootiemama and Gang! :)
Big cheers for old mama! Ash tries her best to give a cheer too, but she's getting her first tooth (we think) so a fist in the mouth is usually her stance lately :)....and below is mama and Shelba chowing on the chocolately delight (actually now that I look at this pic Shelbs is holding a flower for some reason)! But, trust me, the cake was superb!!! Bumbo Ash tries to get a footful too :)