Photos taken with an iPhone and P&S camera:

We started off our Christmas Break with a little hospital stay…Littlest Brother had to have a minor surgery. Waking up from general anesthesia he was IRRATE. Throwing stuffed animals and screaming – not fun. Can I just say I love doctors and nurses, but I hate hospitals. I hated seeing him in that little gown and hooked up to stuff. Hated it. It’s over. I’m grateful for a strong, healthy boy.

12.09hospital-10Our room in the Children’s Hospital was big and sunny and nice. But I still hate hospitals. Little guy here hated his IV and oxygen monitor. He kept trying to rip it out and would cry “All done. All done.” I love nurses and doctors. I hate hospitals.

The big boys stayed with Nana. Baby sister stayed in a hospital drawer. I’m not kidding.


I can add this to the list of random places my children have slept. During the course of our stay a sweet family came to visit all the kids at the hospital…bearing Christmas gifts. They were so kind and engaging to Littlest Brother. I was embarrassed when they looked over and saw my daughter sleeping in a drawer. Oh well, you do what you gotta do to get kids to sleep – at least Chris and I do.


Our gloomy, grumpy, sad little boy transformed when his big brothers came to visit. He was sitting on the couch eating ice when they walked through the door. He climbed down, ran to Biggest Brother, threw his arms around him in a big hug and wouldn’t let go. Eventually he let go and started running around the room and trying to wrestle with them. Here he is trying to do a somersault with Biggest Brother. It was an incredible moment to see the change in him that his big brothers caused. Nothing like it.12.09hospital-04

Thank you to all our friends and family who prayed for us and checked in on us during our short stay at the hospital. We are so grateful.

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  • Alba - Dear Ashley, I’m really sorry to hear about it, and I’m glad you are back home. Hospitals only have a good good place, maternity.
    A drawer? Well, it’s an option 😉 I totally agree about do anything for make them to sleep.
    Take care. Petonets, Alba

  • Kari Sanchez - Bless your hearts! I’m glad everyone is doing well! Merry Christmas Ashley! Thanks for all you, for all the blog posts- they are so encouraging, so inspirational! God has blessed you with many, many talents!

  • Ryan - I’m so glad he’s doing well and the surgery went smoothly. That had to be pretty stressful for you and Chris.

    Don’t feel bad about putting her in a drawer – it was open afterall. When we were about your boys’ ages, my brother and I would sleep standing up behind the front seat in my Mom’s El Camino. There was like a 8″ opening between the seat and the wall. Imagine explaining that if she had gotten pulled over.

  • alamama - I am so glad he is doing better now! My heart goes out to you!

  • ashlee - glad all is well with him now. i think sleeping in the drawer is pretty ingenius and resourceful!

  • Christina - Glad he is ok. My daughter had her tonsils out when she was 7 over Christmas break, so I can relate to the “sick” kid over the holidays. Hope he is bouncing and back to normal by the big day.

  • Erin - Glad that Littlest Bro is doing better, he’s too cute to be down. And think of the drawer as more of a “trundle bed” of sorts..

  • Lauren Roberts - Glad your back home! I think little girl’s bed was totally appropriate. She didn’t seem to mind:) We will continue to pray for littlest brother to have a speedy recovery.

  • meg duerksen - you will love having photos of this someday….memories captured forever. so glad he’s okay.

  • Jaimie - So sorry to hear about the surgery and the hospital. yuck. But, I can’t stop laughing about the drawer- she can’t get out yet, it’s okay!

  • Stephanie May* - Haha – LOVE the drawer bed! Reminds me of a Seinfeld episode :)

  • lorae - Yuck on the hospital visit! Awesome on the drawer! Had to use a large suitcase once, unzipped of course. Best wishes for a speedy recovery and enjoy your holidays with your sweet family!

  • Jeannette Swan - I’m so glad he is feeling better and you didn’t have to stay the night. Praying for a super quick recovery and blessed Christmas for all!!

  • Lisa - LOVE that you put your daughter in the drawer! :) Hope that Littlest Brother feels better soon!

  • Liz Pray - So glad to know he is home! I remember Cairo waking up from his anisthesia irrate…it was aweful and we had to do it 3 more times! He also had horrific gas (HEE, HEE)!

  • Lisa - Glad to hear he is doing well! Hospitals are a stressful and scary place. Sending big hugs your way!

  • Kara - I’ve heard the drawer idea before! My mom said she used to do that with me and my brother.

  • Cheree - My cousin slept in a drawer the first few months of his life…

  • PamperingBeki - Awww, sweet baby.

    Home will feel better than ever before!

  • Kate - Praying for a speedy recovery for you guys! Merry Christmas.

  • maegan - I know exactly how you feel. So glad y’all are back home. And the drawer is totally appropriate.

  • rachel denbow - oh, I do hope he has a quick recovery. That shot of Breese’s foot sticking out of the drawer is the best!

  • Sophie - I’m so glad you littlest man is all better and back home now.
    And even if it is slightly unusual, the baby sister does look ADORABLE, even in a drawer.

    I hope you all have a very merry Christmas

  • Liz - I am so glad he is doing better. We spent two weeks at that hospital including Thanksgiving day when my daughter Allison was sick. It really is a wonderful place and they have the best nurses! We have to go back in Janurary for her to have surgery and I know that they will take good care of our family!

    Ny nother-in-law is one of 12 kids and they all slept in dresser drawers when they were babies because they could not afford cribs. Once she was babysitting the girls when they were little and when we came to get them she had them tied to barstools with dish towels because she didn’t have high chairs. No that was one I hadn’t seen before. We bought her a highchair to keep at her house after that! Now they are 5 and 7 but I always think about that and laugh!

  • Kelly - Oh Ashley, I did a search on your blog for “couch” because I bought a couch at an estate sale today and immediately was thinking about what you might do to it to make it interesting. :) I saw this post and it made me see that God really is at work that you are able to be handling your present hospital stay so well. God bless you and have a happy Easter! Kelly

Remember about a week ago when I posted that I just got done capturing a little one enter the world? Well here she is! Meet little Harper. She is about 5 1/2 lbs small…TINY little bean. Cute as all get out – just like her big sister. It was my special treat to myself to get out of my wild and crazy house and go visit her. I love her.  Big Brother (my 3 year old) has been asking daily to see Baby Harper. He recently told me, “Baby Harper doesn’t have hands.” After a few questions I realized he had never seen her out of her swaddle blanket and in fact believed she didn’t have hands! Kids are so fun.

This is her Rosie the Riveter pose…”I might be small, but I am mighty!”12.09harper-8

Good friends and their sweet baby….I live a good life.12.09harper-9


Littlest Brother’s best friend.12.09harper-12

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  • Jeannette Swan - Congratulations to Mommy and Daddy and Big Sister. Harper is precious! Beautiful pics, Ashley!!

  • nath - i love such cute photos!! gorgeous!!!

  • Rachel C - Harper is absolutely precious. I love, LOVE the pic where she is showing off her guns. What a priceless picture. Ash—beautiful pictures. J & L — beautiful daughters. Best Christmas present ever…..

  • Courtney Connelly - J and L, beautiful pictures of your sweet girls! The one of A and H together is precious, sisterly love is a powerful thing! Ash, outstanding….again.

  • amanda torres - Jenn, she is just beautiful! What a blessing. Congratulations. I’m sure big sis is SOOOO proud.

  • Christina - I love babie pics. Why is it when you see them, you instantly feel like you need one? Is it just me?

  • Laura - She is so beautiful!! Congrats L and J….. so happy for you both!!

  • Liz - these are adorable!!

  • ashlee - she is so sweet:) love those pics on the bed…you have mad skills Ashley:)

  • bopha - Congrats!! She is beautiful and tiny. You guys are blessed to have such sweet little girls.

  • Shannon Phillips - Jenn and Lars, she is so precious. Congrats. Ashley, this is the most beautiful newborn session ever!!

  • Lauren Roberts - Congrats Jand L! She is just beautiful.

  • Erin - Two of the most precious girls with two amazing parents!! Love the one of Harper flexing, she’s fiesty already :)

  • Betsy Gwartney Catrett - WONDERFUL pictures! What a treasure. Thank you, Ashley, for using your gift to bless our family. Lars & Jenn, these are sooo good. How happy we are for you…for US! Love, Pappy and Honoey

  • AK - I adore the pictures you took of the new baby. She is so sweet. What a beautiful family!

Baby Sister got a new headband in the mail and she was sleeping when I opened it….which meant I couldn’t try it on her. So I decided to put it on like a pirate’s eye patch, grab a sword and jump out at the boys while they were playing with Legos. This is what they saw (minus the camera):


Yeah, I’m a tough looking pirate. (I think you guys just read this blog b/c I post dorky pictures of myself). Anyway, Biggest Brother went nuts over my eye patch and begged me to make him one. “Stocking Stuffer” ran through my mind and I told him I’d think about it.  Of course, I made 4 (4 kids=4 pirates) and have a little tutorial for you. Now I know many of you could make these much bettter and much cuter, but I was going for speed in making them. Naptimes only last so long you know. I finished all 4 in about 30min.

Step 1: Cut out 2 layers of felt in the shape you want

Step 2: Cut iron adhesive (Heat-n-Bond sheets is what I used). Place a women’s hairband near the top of the patch, between the felt layers.

Step 3: Iron the layers (felt, Heat-n-Bond, hairband, felt). I placed fabric over the felt when ironing b/c I had cheap felt that was melting.

Step 4: Stitch along the hairband and felt to secure it tightly (if you have kids that are ROUGH on everything)

Step 5: (not pictured) Using embroidery thread make simple stitches only the edges and add any other top embellishments12.09pirate-02

3 Pirates and 1 Piratess (that is what a princess with 3 big brothers that love pirates is called. Just filling you in)

The bands are a little big on the youngest two, but I just tied a knot in the back to get them to fit. You could cut them the right size, but then they’ll just outgrow it and you’ll have to make more. These fit adults too.


Since these are going in stockings I couldn’t take a picture of any of the Pirates, but here is one of the Piratess….12.09pirate-09

Just to include it…here she is in the original headband. I got it from etsy dealer Clara Clips (I know you’ll ask)


With her current favorite toy…a gift all the way from Egypt. Thanks Liz.12.09blueband-01

And in honor of my seafaring gang today’s Etsy finds are picked with Pirates & The Sea in mind:


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  • Jamie - Cute! My boy, Cal, loves his Sophie Giraffe too! My mom says I had one when I was little, 32 years ago :)

  • Amy - You are so clever. I have nephews coming for Christmas and this would be perfect. Thanks Ashley..

  • Liz Pray - I am so glad she likes the giraffe. Caroline loved hers…it is a great teether. (Adam calls it a dog toy…weird!) Thanks for the great idea, I am off to find felt tomorrow, it is an adventure for me to locate all kinds of craft stuff here! Miss you guys!

  • Holly - i love them. especially on baby sister. you are a crafting genius!

  • Lisa - Did you honestly have a pack of women’s hair ties hanging around your house, waitin’ for a DIY project? I love it.

  • amanda torres - Whoa! You are one ferocious mama.

  • Jeannette Swan - Love the headband so went to Etsy to check it out – how did you get Breese’s picture out there? What an adorable model!!

  • susie whyte - love it. my kids(2 & 4) have been sucked into the captain hook vortex and talk about him ALL the time. great post.

  • Christmas Happenings « {bmp} - […] weekend after I had put off and put off the gift I intended to make for my nephew and then I saw this post from the ever inspiration AshleyAnn. All I needed was a little inspiration. It let me to the idea […]

  • Amy - These are SO cute. I’ve totally lost myself in your blog. (Wait, nap time is over already?) What beautiful kids, fun pictures and great ideas! I’ll add this to my favorites list!

  • My New Favorite | - […] I’m Not Gonna Do But Is Still Super Cute :: :: :: DIY Pirate Eye Patches from Ashley Ann […]

  • *** miss chris *** - making these tonight for a couple pirates in Fidge’s class. Perfecto, mama. Thanks. xoxo

  • Pirate PAargty | | Colour GigglesColour Giggles - […] how cool are these pirate eye patches for all the little guests to the party. You can visit Under the Sycamore for DIY instructions on how to make […]

  • Jen - Hi! I love your pirate eye patches. Do you sell them? I’d love to get some for son’s upcoming pirate birthday party! Thanks!