August 1, 2012
As you can imagine, I’ve been busy lately because on July 16th at 12:20 pm, Ryan and I welcomed our second daughter Ashlyn Olivia into the world. She was delivered a few weeks early via C-section because my sweet, stubborn girl was breech and my doctor felt it was best.
She weighed-in at 6 pounds, 15 ounces and approximately 17 ½ inches long, but we’re not really sure because she was curled up. Trying to get her legs straight to measure her wasn’t happening. The important thing is she’s a healthy baby.
My brother and his wife also had a baby boy the same day, so my parents are excited to have two grandbabies with the same birthdays. My mom was in Kentucky for the delivery of baby John Daniel, who was 6 pounds, 9 ounces. I’m not sure on his length, but I bet he’ll be tall since his parents both are. He’s got a head full of jet black hair which is funny because my brother is pretty much bald. My dad stayed in North Carolina to welcome Ashlyn and then drove up this weekend to see his grandson. I can’t wait to meet my nephew and the girls to see their cousin.
Brooklyn’s being an awesome big sister and nothing seems to phase her. From the day Ashlyn came home she wants to touch her, hold her hand and help with her bottle. It’s really cute to watch them together. She calls her “sister” rather than Ashlyn, so we’re working on the name thing.
Ryan’s mom (Diane) came down to stay with us and help. I really appreciated it and Brooklyn liked having grandma as her personal playmate. It was nice because it gave me time to get adjusted to having two kids to take care of. Ashlyn is sleeping in our room right now but will be moving into the nursery soon, which means Brooklyn has a new “big girl” room she’ll be moving in to. We also started working on potty training, which is big job but we’re taking it slow. Needless to say I was glad Ashyln came on an off weekend because having Ryan around for two weeks with no racing was nice. He’s been helping quite a bit - even in the middle of the night to give me a little bit of a break.
The dogs are doing good with the baby. Dunkin seems to be the most attentive when she cries. He’ll come running over to look at her, then he looks at us like “are you going to take care of this or not?” which is funny. Mopar loves to give kisses so I have to be careful because that big tongue of his can really do some damage. They were all good with Brooklyn when we brought her home, so I was hoping they would be the same way with Ashlyn.
Now it’s back to racing and gearing up for the rest of the season. I don’t know when I’ll start traveling again, but we’ll need to get a schedule set. We’ve enrolled Brooklyn into a school program that she’ll go to two days a week starting in the fall. I am excited for her because it will give her time to interact with other kids and learn things she wouldn’t necessarily learn at home.
Ryan’s in contract negotiations with Stewart-Haas and their working on sponsorship. Hopefully they will hammer out something soon. It’s been a little stressful but things take time, and rushing it isn’t always the best thing so patience is what we’ve had to have. I’m confident they’ll add to the list of awesome partners they already have on the No. 39 car.
Rescue Ranch continues to move along. I’ve been working with my dad on it and we’re still waiting on some permitting to come back. We’re hoping to start building as soon as possible and get our first Critter Camp on the books or maybe some type of fall festival to get this acclimated and up and running.
That’s about it for me as far as big projects go. I have just a few things to finish up on Tony’s house but nothing major. The house has been ready for him to move into since June.
While I’m home with the girls, I’ll be putting together my final notes for the ACES International Conference I’m speaking at in September. I’m looking forward to it. I wish I could spend time to hear some of the other speakers, but it will be a quick trip because I won’t be taking the girls.
Before I wrap up, I would like to say thanks to Iams. The partnership between Iams and our Foundation came to an end in June. Companies allocate funds to programs, but with the economy still trying to make a comeback certain areas need to be cut back in order to move forward. It’s not like we didn’t enjoy our partnership. The parting of ways hasn’t affected our involvement in the Helen Woodward Animal Center’s Home 4 The Holidays program, so Ryan and I will still participate in that this winter. We are thankful for Iams and the amount of food they donated the last few years. We were able to help many shelters, homeless veterans and families affected by disasters. We will continue that work without Iams and hopeful that we can build another partnership in the future.
Go Rocketman! Go Smoke!
Go Stewart-Haas Racing!!