Friday, October 31, 2014

Oh Friday!

Happy Halloween!! I am so excited that halloween is on a Friday this year!  It's so much better than on a weeknight.   We don't get too many trick or treaters in our neighborhood and that's okay! It's still fun to see the 2 or 3 that show up at our door!



1
I found a nanny job! Ellie and I go twice a week and it's so great that she gets to play with another little girl. Yay for socialization!!! So far things are going great and Ellie is getting a crash course in navigating stairs, bar stools and sleeping in a pack'n'play!



2
I get emails every Thursday from "Living the Country Life" and rarely click on the links. However, since Thanksgiving
 is fast approaching and I like to bring desserts, I wanted to check out their pie link and saw this pie. Oh my word it sounds and looks delish! Now only if I can convince the family to go non-traditional!!!



3
I can't believe that it was just last year that we celebrated Ellie's first Halloween.
She was the cutest little witch and I just loved the costume so much! (It's making a reappearance this year too...)


4
I mentioned it here a few times. But I am loving my Toddler Tuesday series!  It's a place where moms can be encouraging to each other as well as share their experiences and learning from surviving the toddler years!  Our kiddos are the light of our lives but sometimes navigating parenthood with a toddler can be a bit of a challenge. I've learned and shared some really great tips (and perspectives) through this series and I want to learn more! Please let me know if you would like to write a guest post and I will get you on the calendar! Send me an email or leave a comment (you can even guest post more than once!!)

Life on the Parsons Farm


5
On Monday I shared this recipe for the most delicious Butterhorns and Pumpkin Frosting. I cannot even tell you how yummy they are or how easy!! These were my most requested treat when I was growing up and I'm so glad that I was able to get the recipe from my mom before she passed away in 2012.  Please let me know if you try them out!




♥ Ashley

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Throwback Thursday - Halloween 2013

I can't believe that Halloween was already a year ago!!  

Let's take a quick trip down memory lane for what Ellie was up to last year. 

She had just started sitting up on her own. Loved being with family and was the smileyest babe ever. We had so much fun getting ready to celebrate her first holiday of the season. 

She was the cutest littlest witch I ever did see!!



♥ Ashley

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Toddler Tuesday - cloth diapers

It's Tuesday! Which is a good thing because it means that Monday is over and we are on our way to the weekend!

Life on the Parsons Farm

Today I wanted to talk to you about our cloth diapering experience. Granted we just started but I am loving it so far. 



Why cloth diapers? This is a question I hear a lot (and have asked a bunch too!). There are a number of reasons why I am drawn to cloth diapers. 
• one reason is that I wanted to do at least one "natural" thing with Ellie since I wasn't pregnant with her nor able to breast feed. 
• I have always been fairly environmentally conscious. And the amount of diaper waste is incredible. I want to do my part to help diminish as much as possible. 
•Not to mention all the chemicals that are in disposables that are used for absorbency and what not. Cloth diapers are a much more natural option. 
• yes the start up of cloth diapers can be expensive but when you calculate how much you spend over the course of a year of disposable diapers it's really not that bad. 
• and then the cloth diapers are so different now than they used to be and are quite the fashion statement. 

Those are a few of the reasons why I'm choosing to cloth diaper. I wanted to cloth diaper last year but when I went back to work and we had a nanny she didn't seem to excited about the idea, so now that I get to be with Ellie everyday I figured now was the time. 

I got most of Ellie's diapers and inserts from a big consignment sale in our area a couple of weeks ago, picked up a couple from my sister (who is not going to cd) and then the rest from offer up (like craigslist). So we have a total of 19. I also have two wet bags (a large one and a small travel one) and got an extra diaper genie to keep them in. We still need to get a sprayer but so far we are doing good!



We were all set to start cd last week but then Ellie had a run in with some olives which resulted in a nasty diaper rash and since you can't use diaper creams on cloth diapers we had to continue with disposables. It got all cleared up by Sunday so we were able to start then. Good thing too because we ran out of disposables. So far we have been pretty lucky with no leaks or blow outs. I have been using a double insert just in case. I have to admit I cannot wait to get a diaper sprayer because poops are my least favorite in cd, but with cloth diapering you win some you lose some. 



I am a little more cautious with how often I am changing the diapers and we could probably go down to just one insert for the majority of the day or let her stay in one a little longer.  But I'm still learning.  So far I'm loving it. I know it's only been about 3 days but I think this is going pretty good and it's way less daunting than I thought it would be!

As we are just beginning this journey I will be sure to update y'all on how it's going! Any cloth diapering mamas out there who want to share your tips? I'd love to learn about what you know!!

I just love this series and I hope you do too! If you have a toddler and want to share what your life is like or what you have learned I would LOVE to have you write a guest post!! Just leave me a comment or send me an email and I will get you on the calendar!!

♥ Ashley

Monday, October 27, 2014

{recipe} Patchin' the Weekend and Butterhorns with Pumpkin Frosting!

Y'all we had one of the best weekends! I am just loving Fall and Halloween even more now that we have Lu in our lives and that she is so much more interested in everything!!


Lu got to spend Saturday with her gparents (Nanny and Papa) while I got to clean house uninterrupted - I forgot how nice that is! Then I made some pumpkin seeds and Pot Roast for dinner. We had a great time spending time with family and I'm so grateful we love close to Ellie's gparents. Also the Sounders played their last regular season game and WON!! They also won the Supporters Shield which is a great honor! This made Thomas very happy!

On Sunday I finished prepping the house and got the food ready for our pumpkin party! I made West Virginia Governors Stew and Butterhorns with Pumpkin Frosting! Yum



Then when my dad (Grandpa) got to our house we headed out to meet up with Nanny, Papa, Uncle Tyler and and Aunt Roz at the pumpkin patch!



We had a great time though it was super muddy thanks to all the rain we've been having lately. Ellie got to go in a hay ride (I think it was my first time too!) with me and Nanny. It was super windy as well. Then we picked out our pumpkins - Ellie chose a small green pumpkin! So fun. 


After the patch we headed back to our farm to eat Soup and Salad and then carved pumpkins! 



Lu had a blast sticking her hands into all the guts and seeds!



Recipe for Butterhorns:

2 cups flour
2 sticks margarine (NOT butter)
1 1/2 c Cottage Cheese

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375. Combine ingredients in a large bowl with a pastry cutter. Knead the dough until it holds together.

2. Separate into 3 equal parts and form each into a ball. Roll out each ball into a 10-12 inch round. Cut into 12 pizza slices. Roll into a crescent shape from the wide end to the skinny tip.

3. Place onto a parchment lined baking sheet and bake in a singe layer in the middle of the oven for 30-40 minutes, until golden. Let cool on a wired rack.

Recipe for Pumpkin Frosting;

1/4 cup softened unsalted butter
1/3 cup canned pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar

Directions:

1. In a mixer beat together butter, vanilla and pumpkin until combined then ann sugar until desired consistency. 

♥ Ashley

Friday, October 24, 2014

Hello Friday!!

It's Friday it's Friday! Let me just do my little happy dance here!!



ONE
I cannot tell you ladies how much love I have for my sweet little Ellie. I can't believe she is already 17 months old!  She is growing and maturing so much every day. She also loves to take risks and is determined to learn how to navigate stairs, PRONTO.  It scares me half to death because she will try going up or down them without me there to help. Considering we live in a rambler she isn't exposed to them very much. But does she love them!


TWO
I mentioned last week that we were taking the plunge to cloth diapers. We haven't started yet :(  our plan was to begin on Saturday but then Ellie was hit with one of the worst diaper rashes of all time (thanks olives). She is still recovering and since you can't use diaper creams in cloth - she's still in a disposable. Hopefully her butt will clear up and I can put these babies to use! We have a combination of Bum Genius, Fuzzibunz, Blueberry, Alva , Gdiapers, and Little Monsters. I am looking forward to which brand we like the best. 




THREE
We have fun weekend plans. First Thomas is going to the Sounders game. We are hoping for a win so they can earn some sort of award - I don't know much about it. But let me tell you that our Seattle Sounders have one of the most loyal fan base in the country and they are quite a successful team! When he gets home we'll have some family time and a nice dinner (hoping for Pot Roast!). Then on Sunday we are doing our second annual pumpkin party at our house. Weather permitting we are going to the patch then back to our house for soup and carving.  We had so much fun last year and are excited to do it again this year!

FOUR

Life on the Parsons Farm

In case you are new around her I have a series "Toddler Tuesday" that I just absolutely love. It's about all things Toddler. I have learned so much from all my great guest posters and I hope you have too!  I am looking for more guest bloggers to post about their experience, things they love, things they have learned about life with your toddler. Please leave a comment or email me if you would like to contribute a post for this series!!

FIVE
God is surprising me every day. That actually shouldn't be a surprise because HE is all powerful. Every night when I put Ellie to bed we sing songs and pray. We have been praying for a pregnancy as well as for Peace and Understanding in HIS plan. Which is so hard. Still 5 years into this infertility journey and the emotions are just as raw - if not more - than in the beginning. While our prayer for pregnancy was not answered this month for the first time, I didn't cry. Huge steps. As Ellie and I were driving on Monday after I got a negative test we were "talking". My whole life I have wanted 4-6 children, but lately I have been thinking that Ellie IS enough. So while my hearts still hurts a little I am beginning to accept that I might not ever get preggo or have a bio child. So I have decided to stop counting days and documenting cycles and all that (and to stop buying preggo tests - infertility women's crack!) I just need to give it all up and put it into Gods hands. Ellie might be an only child but we know that adoption is such a blessing and will most likely continue to grow our family that way. We have been so blessed with Ellie's adoption and having her in our lives that we know the love we can have. So our prayers have put more emphasis on Peace and Understanding is Gods plan  

♥ Ashley

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Thankful Thursday

How can it be Thursday already? That means tomorrow is Friday and we get to spend the weekend with daddy! (Well after the Sounders game)



On Tuesday I mentioned that Ellie is a little dare devil and doesn't seemed to be scared by much (save for an elevator and the vacuum). I am so thankful for her bravery and toughness - even though she scares me most the time. 

Yesterday we were at church and I told Ellie to go sit down at the table in the toddler room. So she went running to the table to sit down and tripped of course.  She hit her head on the corner of the table on the way down and immediately got a black and blue bruise on her forehead. Poor babe.



Girlfriend is a total trooper she cried for a little bit (like 30 seconds) but then I started giving her snacks and the tears went right away. She was all smiles the rest of the day & you never would've known that she even had a crash except for the telltale sign of the giant bruise on her forehead.

Cheesin' it 10 minutes later!

So I guess today I am thankful for two things. I am thankful for Ellie's braveness and toughness. And I am so thankful that she is healthy and safe.

♥ Ashley

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Toddler Tuesday - {monthdate}


Life on the Parsons Farm

Y'all, I love that Ellie's 17 monthdate fell on a Tuesday!! I can't believe that we are nearing the end of October and Miss Lu has been a part of our lives for 17 months. I swear we just brought her home from the hospital!



Girlfriend has been changing before our eyes every day! This by far is the most fun age and I know it's just going to keep getting better and better! (Although there will be some trying times I'm sure). 


We should have named her Ellie Danger because she is one huge risk taker and makes my heart stop several times a day with her crazy antics!  She runs around (and usually face plants) laughing. She is trying to climb on everything (regardless of how stable it is) and use any toy to try and help herself up onto the coffee table - which is NOT allowed. She has a giant love of slides and will cry of I don't let her go down at least 20 million times! And she has become very confident at the mall play area and acts like she rules the place, so we are working on teaching her to take turns. And she insists on walking down the slide there - and usually bites it but gets right back up to do it again!!  It has become apparent that Lu has no fear and is probably going to be an awesome Flyer when she gets into cheerleading. 




Due to Ellie's dangerous ways we did have an accident. She was running into our kitchen and tripped landing straight on her face and cut her lip. She cried for all of 5 minutes and after a couple hours the swelling went down and she was fresh as a daisy. 

She has become quite the eater but also knows what she does and does not like. We introduced plates this month and she has been good about 80% of the time keeping it on her tray. Although she does love to dump it!  Favorite foods: string cheese, corn, peas, bread, grapes, gold fishies, and Cheerios.  She also likes pizza (tortinos party pizzas are her fave) as well as some pastas. 



She fell in love with olives, so I gave her a handful and she gobbled them up so fast. But now we are paying for it because they did not agree with her butt. Poor girlfriend has one of the worst rashes to date and I feel terrible! It's times like these I wish she could use the toilet, but I'm not looking forward to the potty training.  Who wants to come and teach her?

I cannot believe how smart this babe is. She understands so well and is pretty good at getting or doing what is asked of her. She knows where her eyes, nose, mouth, ears, hair and belly button are and can identify her toes on a good day. She does patty cake, ring around the rosie, washes the spider out, and stomps her feet, and spins in circles, all on command. She can wave hi and bye as well as blow kisses. She also gives the best hugs and kisses 90% of the time when asked.  She can say "baa" for sheep, "mmmm" for cow, "meh" for goat, "neh" for pony, "woo" for puppy, "bak" for chicken, she also says "nana" for nanny (grandma), "papa", "dada", "mama". "Gaga" for grandpa, and "ba" for bath. She still can sign "more" and "milk" and "all done". She also makes a sound for all done and the best "uhuhh" for yes. I love it and can't wait for more words!!



Lu loves to read her books, and play with almost all her toys. Her new fave thing to do is take her toys and drop them on the other side of the fireplace screen (naughty). She love her Bitty Baby and will give her hugs all the live long day!  The puppies are getting more used to her and all she wants to do is give them lovin's.  She can "brush" her teeth and enjoys that part of our morning routine - still trying to get it into our nighttime routine. 

Sleep has been a total hit and miss lately. She is good for her nap - usually dinks around in her crib for about 15-20 minutes and then sleeps for a good 2.5 hours. But nighttime is a whole other story. At the moment our sleep is a little more important to is so when she refuses to sleep in her crib we just bring her into out bed and she is practically out when her head hits the mattress. I know we are going to have to be a little more firm coming up in the sleep department but this is what's "working" for us right now. Do I wish and pray that she sleeps through the night in her own crib? Hell yes. 



Major developments:
Ellie has 11 teeth and the last molar is cutting through. So I think I can consider her having 12 teeth! 
She sleeps in her crib for naps and can put herself to sleep. 
Lu plays very well independently and loves to read her books. 
Daniel Tiger, Clifford and Arthur are her favorite tv shows. 
She will sit at the small kids table for practically the entire snack time!

Adventures:
We've been to church a lot
We went to a farm stand and picked out a few pumpkins
You've been out on errands 
We've been taking walks around the neighborhood
You also went to a consignment sale and helped pick out a bunch of cloth diapers




♥ Ashley

Thursday, October 16, 2014

TGIF

How is it Friday already?!!?!??!  We have just had the best week so far with Ellie refusing naps, having mini melt downs, and our husky attacking our miniature pinscher.   You know just a classic week on the farm, it's what's worth living for.  All the chaos aside, I wouldn't trade being home with Ellie all day every day for anything. I just love her so much. 

{one}
This outfit has me dying over its cuteness. 
Vest: Target
Raglan sweatshirt: Old Navy 
Jeans: Carter's 
Moccs: Freshly Picked

I am just loving this #31days challenge I gave myself for dressing Ellie this month - because girlfriend is just too cute!  And really who know how much of a floral fan I would be (product of the 90's)

{two}
Some people might call me crazy and that's okay! Because I am too excited for words. 
Yep. We are making the switch to cloth diapering. I still have a few reservations and a ton of questions, but I am so excited to take this leap.  Before we adopted Ellie I knew that I wanted to cloth diaper, but then we had Miss J (our nanny) come to our house every day and she didn't seem too thrilled about the idea so I held off. Now that I'm home with Ellie, I totally feel like I got this!  I got free early admission (as an adoptive parent) to this huge consignment sale in our area "Just Between Friends", maybe you've heard of it before? Anyways I have been waiting and saving for weeks to go to this event and pick up as many cloth diapering things I could get my hands on! And today was the day!  I can't believe the deals I got! Example 3 Bum Genius and 6 inserts for the price of one!!! And I got another Diaper Genie for $5! We will see if it works for CD or not, but hey for $5 seriously who cares! 

{three}
Wednesday October 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. As a mom of four angel babies I still have yet to meet, this was a pretty heavy day and I might have been slightly distracted. Thankfully Ellie was a ray of sunshine and wanted to give lots of hugs and kisses - God I love that girl. 

{four}
Miss Lu is a daredevil. I'm sure I've posted about it before. We live in a rambler so our house is lacking in stairs - great thing when you have a new(er) walker, bad news when all she wants to do is climb. 
She has found the only "stair" in our home and basically does this on the daily. 
Face plants every time and immediately gets back up to do it again. Hey whatever floats your boat babe. 

{five}
I am praying for rain on Saturday. I know that's bad because it would put a damper on some of our weekend plans but would also be a good thing. Thomas is a tennis coach and league playoffs are scheduled for all day Saturday and I would much rather have it be rained out so that we can spend the day together as a family of three. So we shall see!

Happy Friday y'all and buy a pumpkin for me!

Ashley

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Speak Up: pregnancy & infant loss




I had a completely different post planned for today but then my IG feed blew up this morning with so many posts about today, October 15 being Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. 




I would be remiss if I didn't post about it today. 



It's no secret that I suffer from infertility.  I have also experienced some of the greatest losses of my life in the past five years. I have had 4 miscarriages and the memories of my angel babies are always there. 



Recently at MOPs we were playing the icebreaker game 4 corners. One of the questions was "How many children do you have out of the womb?"  I was a t a loss as to which corner I should go to. Should I go to the "One child" corner since we have Ellie? Or to the "Four or more" corner because technically my angel babies are out of the womb - just not in the traditional meaning of the question. Ultimately I chose to go to the "One child" corner because I wasn't ready to explain myself not put a damper on the game. 



Dealing with infertility is a constant bummer and I don't think a day goes by that I don't think about our disease or our angel babies. 


I am so grateful to have to opportunity to bring awareness to this awful disease and loss. It affects so many more men and women than you know. Not all of us are ready to share our story but please always remember to think before you speak and to raise your children to be kind. 


I have learned so much about myself through our losses and I feel that i probably appreciate Ellie so much more than if I hadn't gone through the struggle of infertility and suffering the losses of my babies. 


Please help spread the word and remember how precious you little ones are. 


All photos are from IG. #pregnancyloss #pregnancyandinfantloss #miscarriage