Tuesday, March 3, 2015

{Toddler Tuesday} the dentist

I have been wanting to write this post all month and finally found the time to get it on the blog!
I am so happy to be writing another post for Toddler Tuesday and think that today's topic is perfect for most toddler mama's.

Life on the Parsons Farm

Yes I took my 20 month old to the dentist.  And she actually did really good and I think enjoyed the experience overall.  I don't think its too early to start good dental hygiene and as a self proclaimed addict of good teeth (its one of the first things I notice on someone) I couldn't think of a better time than 20 months and 14 teeth to start.  I didn't do a whole lot of prep work for Ellie, except for teaching her to show me her teeth (with a smile) and to open her mouth.  We have also been brushing her teeth (she does it by herself too) since she was about 14 months old. Other than that we just kind of winged it. Ellie had her first dental appointment on Thursday February 5, 2015.

Here we are in the waiting room.  Showing off her scarf (actually its mine) and practicing opening her mouth to show her teeth.

I actually was seeing the dentist as well so I went first. She got to see me sit in the chair have have the hygienist stick her fingers in my mouth first.

Then it was Ellie's turn.  She was actually quite patient with the amount of waiting time and enjoyed playing on the chair.

The sunglasses were a hit for about 1 minute and then she tried taking them off, she didn't seem to be disturbed by the bright light overhead.

Then it was time for some teeth checking.  She actually got her teeth polished (okay like 2 of them) and then got the water squirter and the spit sucker.  Like me she loved the spit sucker and wouldn't let it go!!  

She was a pro at spitting into the sucker.

Then it was time for the dentist to come in and check out her teeth.  Turns out toddlers are supposed to have gappy teeth to make sure there is room for their permanent teeth to come in and with Ellie's teeth being close together there is a very good chance she will need braces :(  We also need to make sure to keep her teeth clean and start flossing soon to prevent cavities - I guess that close baby teeth are prone to cavities? who knew!

So I would say her first dental experience was a success and hopefully she will continue to love going as much as I do.  I would go every week to get my teeth cleaned if I could!!

Have you taken your toddler to the dentist before? How did it go?

♥ Ashley

do you love this series as much as I do?  Have a story or some advice you would like to share?  I would love for you to write a guest post on this topic to share with my readers.  Just leave a comment or send me an email and I will get you on the calendar!!

I'm linking up here

Monday, March 2, 2015

Painting, Gardening and Decorating

What a weekend! I feel like I accomplished so much but also still have a long list of things to do. Does that ever happen to you?  

On Saturday I got our kitchen all set up for Ellie to do her own type of painting project. 

Painting a St. Patrick's Day canvas. I loved the one she made for Valentine's Day that I knew I wanted to do it again for my birthday holiday!  Of course I was too busy managing the mess that I didn't get any in process pictures but I love the end result!

I am looking forward to many more years of these projects!

After our crafting I headed to our local garden nursery to learn how to care for and prune our roses. I came home and got to work in the garden pruning our roses (and weeding as well). I hope this will make a difference and we will get plentiful blooms this year. While I was at the nursery I also picked up some more plants (I'm addicted) for both inside and outside the house. I got the indoor plants all potted and displayed in the living room and our bathroom. 

There is something about the black shamrock that calls my name every year and finally I picked one up!

Oops, I guess you get a small sneak peek of our bathroom!

Then I also did some more styling on our mantle for St. Patrick's Day. I just love the addition of Ellie's artwork!

I think I might need some sort of garland? Along the top of the mirror or the mantle?

Then on Sunday I got to work painting. But first let me share a little bit: 
Okay, so growing up we used to pick blackberries for pie and jam that my mom would make. I discovered that there are two kinds of "pickers" scatter pickers and complete pickers. I tend to be in the scatter picker category, what that means is that when picking blackberries you don't stand in one place for very long because you are picking the berries that catch your eye and seem "easy" to pick. The complete pickers will stand in one spot and get ALL the berries they can that are ripe and ready.

I think this quality comes out in other facets of life as well.  I am a great project starter but am lacking in the completion process because another idea or project catches my eye. Lets take our bathroom makeovers for example.  I started Ellie's bathroom makeover last April and I still have some "finishing touches" that I need to do before the project is complete. I've had all the supplies but haven't pulled the trigger yet. Then I decided to start doing a makeover on our bathroom and Ellie's took a second backseat!!  Well this weekend I took care of some of the finishing touches (in both bathrooms). Ellie's bathroom had all of the trim and white paint complete, now I just need to touch up the green paint and do all the caulking!! Then a that is really left are light fixtures (not a priority) and a new shower curtain and we will be done!!  While I was in the process of painting the bathrooms I thought I would paint another coat on our kitchen cabinets .. See what I mean? Scatter picker err, project'er. 

So anyways here is what Ellie's bathroom looks like now. I am so happy that all that godawful 1989 wood trim is gone from this room!!

Oh and since I had the paints out I did my own little St. Patrick's Day art. 

How was your weekend?

♥ Ashley

Linking up here today

Friday, February 27, 2015

Friday Five

Here we are at yet another Friday.  These weeks are going by so fast! We are still getting off of our Disneyland high from last week and Ellie is all about saying "no, no, no, no, no!" even when she means yes.  So we are having a bit of fun, I am sure you can imagine.  We miss Disneyland like crazy, it was so fun to have four family filled days and basically NO social media, but let me tell you it is so nice to be home! It amazes me with how much Ellie has grown and matured over the last few weeks and what a big girl she is!!

O N E 

I painted Ellie's nails for the first time this week. She LOVED it and was so good.  I have this thing about messes (I don't like them) and so far I have trained Ellie to be quite clean.  {Of course eating mashed potatoes is always a mess and usually ends up with Ellie giving herself a potato facial...maybe she is on to something!}She just stood there watching while I painted and was very patient while I held her hands in a death grip until her fingers were dry.  Then I told her to go show Dada her nails and she is such a girl and showed him "correctly" I just about died!!  She is still quite proud of her nails.  Although she is plagued with the same "skill" I have and had her pinky nail chipped within 10 minutes! I cannot get over how much older she looks now with pink nails. #wheredidmybabygo


Ashley Parsons's photo.

Spring is arriving here in the PNW and I have to say that I am super excited about it.  The snow cap on the mountains is pretty low so that means that we are most likely going to have a pretty dry summer, which is always a bummer.  But with our mild weather lately I have a feeling that all our spring blooming bulbs are going to make an early appearance.  Speaking of tulips, aren't they the most beautiful flowers?  They always bring such happiness to my winter eyes.  We are so lucky to live within a few hours of the Tulip Festival in Skagit County, Washington.  Thomas and I have made it a point to visit every year since we started dating and its a Spring Date I always look forward to. You can read more about our Spring Tradition here.

T H R E E 

We are two days away from GREEN MONTH! You guys, as soon as Valentines Day is over I get my green on for St. Patrick's Day. Our house is decked out in green (it is my favorite color after all).  Why do I love St. Patrick's Day so much? Well because it's my birthday!! I can't believe that I will be 31 this year, how crazy is that because I swear I just turned 24.  I absolutely love having a holiday birthday because I like to think that all the stores and everyone is getting ready to celebrate my birthday.  I was looking through my St. Patrick's Day Pinterest board the other day and I have so many great recipes on there that I NEED to try out this year.  Check it our for yourself! I would love to know if you try any of them yourself.


I mentioned a couple weeks ago that I won a Minted giveaway.  Well I finally decided on what I was going to get from there and ordered them earlier this week.  I have been seeing this all over the internet and I so wanted to get one for Ellie's birthday last year but couldn't stomach the price.  Since I had "free" money I thought why not and put it right into my shopping cart.  Then I was wavering what else I should get since my order had to be over the amount I won to be able to use my "free" monies and finally decided on this for Ellie's toddler room.  I am so excited for these to come in the mail. 

F I V E 

At MOPs this week we were encouraged to share our story and then on FB yesterday I came across a story with the hashtag #ihadamiscarriage.  Nearly all of the women at my MOPs table have dealt with either a miscarriage or Infertility, God knew what He was doing when He put me at this table.  While you can read it in detail here I don't feel like I even talk about our struggle enough on the blog. Which might be a good thing actually because ya'll would probably get sick of hearing about my four miscarriages and battle with Infertility.  The thing is that miscarriage is a loss and something that the mother never forgets and often thinks about every single day.  For some reason we choose to fight this battle privately, whether its because we are ashamed that our bodies can't do their purpose, don't want to come across as a "poor me" individual, don't think that people will understand, or whatever our reason may be.  But the truth is that miscarriage defines us.  That doesn't mean that it can define us in a bad way, just how we view our world.  When we open up and start talking about our losses it is so crazy how friends and co-workers come out of the woodwork and share their story as well.  Oftentimes I find the courage to share because someone else shared before me.  I think about my four angel babies every day.  I am so thankful to have Ellie in my life and know that out of all the babies in the world God hand picked her for us, but I still think about my bio-babies up in heaven and can't help but wonder how they would have turned out.  We plan to adopt again, after we raise some money and get our finances together, but I also dream and pray daily for a miracle pregnancy.  The thought though of getting pregnant again scares me because of my past traumatic experiences with 2 ectopic pregnancies and the other two losses we have had.  But I have hope and faith and know that God will grow our family in the way that He has planned for us.  I am so thankful for this spot on the internet where I can share my heart with you and let go of some of this pain, to share my story and to give courage to others.  

♥ Ashley

Click here to see where I am linking up

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Frolic through the Tulips

Spring is just around the corner and you know what that means.  It's time to get out of hibernation and start getting some date's on.

'#elliefaithp loved the tulips @roozengaarde'

Since our second year of dating Thomas and I have made it a point to try and have some "traditions" in our lives.  One of them being a visit to the Tulip Festival in Skagit County, Washington. This is a date we look forward to every year and it is a great form of inspiration for our own gardens.

Ashley Parsons's photo.

Each year looks a little different.  The first year we went on this date was on a Saturday and they had a parade in downtown La Conner.  We had Thomas' parents dogs with us since we were house sitting for them.  We also didn't go into one of the major retailer's there and just stopped by the free fields for some photos.  One year we went with Thomas parents and another we went with my parents (not knowing it would be one of the last opportunities to go with my mom). One thing that has stayed the same is that we always go to the same place for lunch, The Calico Cupboard we like to try different things on the menu and haven't had a bad meal yet.  Last year we got to bring Ellie with us for the first time and it was so magical sharing this with her.

Ashley Parsons's photo.
Ashley Parsons's photo.

We love to see what new displays they have as well as order some new tulip, hyacinth, or daffodil bulbs while we are there.  It is so nice to be able to bring some of the inspiration home with us (and a bouquet or two of fresh tulips doesn't hurt either!).  So if you live in the area I highly recommend checking out the Tulip Festival this year.  I know there are some in Oregon and I am sure in other parts of the country as well, just do a google search to see what is near you!

I am so looking forward to this years date! Ellie is going to have so much fun running around the tulip fields and its a great excuse for me to bring out my big girl camera too!

what spring date ideas do you have?

♥ Ashley

click here to see where I am linking up today

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

{monthdate} 21 months

I can't believe I only have 3 of these monthdate's left!

This is by far my most favorite age yet.  Luella is growing into such a big girl with opinions, likes, and dislikes all of her own! She is also quite the communicator and the funniest girl that I know!  She has preferences in what she likes to wear and requests either a bow or scarf almost daily!! It is so cute.

Like with most toddlers her food preferences change on the daily (as well as how hungry she gets). As I have mentioned before the 2 1/2 year old we play with twice a week requests Mac/n/cheese every day so that is what our lunch is.  I try to add in some protein and a fruit or veggie as well.  Some days Ellie will eat her whole serving and others she won't even look at the mac/n/cheese.  Lately she doesn't like apples and is all about the strawberries.  Crackers are always a winner and she prefers hamburger meat or sausage over shredded chicken or sandwich meat.  I like to think that she has a pretty diverse palate and she actually will eat all of her veggies first about 95% of the time!

We have tried our best to not raise Lu with any sleep issues, which she can sleep just about anywhere at anytime with noises around. Her nighttime preference though is in our bed with us.  She usually takes one nap a day that averages about 2 1/2 hours, usually between 10:30am to 3pm depending on her wake up time and our daily schedule.  Nighttime sleep, we try to wind her down around 7-7:30 and usually is in bed by 8:30 and then wake up can be anywhere between 5 and 6:30am.  On nights she joins us in our bed it can be at 10:30, 12:00, or 2am...at this point we are more interested in our own sleep and its just easier to bring her in with us than to try and get her back down in her own crib.

Some new additions are "No", "Pooper" (Cooper), and "Mouse" for Mickey and Minnie.  She has also started to string words together like "Mama car", "Dada car" and "Nana car". She also speaks a lot of gibberish and I just love her sweet little voice. 

She is running everywhere, has asked to use the potty, climbing on everything in sight, is pretty good on the staircases at our nanny houses and can kick a soccer ball and throw other balls in the direction she wants!!  She also got to do her very first painting and it was a success so I see another in her near future.  Oh and she went to Disneyland and was a total champ.  She did great on the planes, meeting the characters and princesses (except for Cinderella), and loved all of the rides we went on! She got to go into a pool for the first time and loved it!  We have also started to enter the Tantrum Stage, it's just lovely.

A little butterfly at Disneyland and she does great with her nanny and church friends.  She even has her preferences with which kids to play with at church and loves to be with the babies!!  Sometimes she gets shy and I am not sure why but I guess she is a toddler and that is just what happens.  We have been working a lot on her manners lately and always have her look at the person she is saying Hi or Bye too, as well as making sure she says Thank You and waves or blows a kiss.

Ellie is super afraid of scales (at home and the doctors office) so getting her weight is a challenge.  I was able to put her on the luggage scale at the airport without issue and she was 25lbs.  She is still a little shortcake and I love it.  I have been trying to buy up in her clothes so she has a lot of 24 month and 2T pieces but she still fits well in most of her 18 month options as well as some choice 12 month!  We have her in a size 4 diaper when using disposables but are really trying to utilize our cloth diaper stash.  I can now get almost all of her hair in a ponytail and I love to do braids in her hair as well.

My sweet little Ellie babe, I love you so incredibly much and I love watching you grow into a beautiful girl both inside and out!  Thank you so much for bringing me so much happiness in my life and making us a family.

♥ Ashley

you can see where I am linking up here
 click to view Ellie's other Monthdates

Monday, February 23, 2015

Life Lately

Life has been a little hectic lately (probably because we spent last week in Disneyland!) I missed posting and reading while on our little vacation so I'm doing my best to catch up. 

First of all we had the best time in DL and I will have a whole post devoted to that. Let me just say that Ellie had so much fun and loved meeting all of the characters and she was so blessed with spending over 8 minutes with Mickey Mouse himself, taking a private tour of the fire station and going window shopping with him! Videos and pictures can be found on IG @lifeonthefarm 

Okay so let's do a little catch up. 

We are not huge on Valentine's Day, though I do enjoy any reason to decorate our home for a holiday.  I held back on much of our decor because I want to focus on simplicity this year. 

On Valentine's Day itself, Thomas and I went on a day date to the NW Flower and Garden Show in Seattle. We got so much inspiration and a lot of ideas for our yard this year and I am just so excited for spring so I can see all my flowers!  We actually got there super early and found parking right up front! It was so fun to leisurely stroll through the show and vendors and look at the display gardens.

 We also went to a seminar about supporting wildlife and animals in the garden/yard like bees, goats, and chickens. I am now convinced that we need to let our chickens out more and utilize their "weeding" abilities.  And bees are so incredibly beneficial in the garden, I am going to invest in a Mason Bee home for them this year. *I am allergic to bees so this might be interesting. 

On Sunday and Monday I got out in our garden. I think this is the earliest I have ever been out there, but we have been blessed with such beautiful weather lately that I had to take advantage of it (and get a head start on the weeds since they've been enjoying our mild weather as well). A few weeks ago I hauled over several wheelbarrow loads of horse manure to our veg garden space and Thomas tilled them in for the first time this year. (We like to rototill at least twice before planting)  Thomas got me some flower bulbs (dahlias and gladiolus) for Vday so I also got those planted. Ellie also got to be outside on the farm and decided to help with some farm chores and visit with the goats and mini horse. 

Tuesday through Saturday we were in the happiest place on earth, Disneyland and we had so much fun. 

Can we please talk about our dancing photo bomber?!!!

Thursday was our 10 year anniversary of when we started dating. We were in California Adventure that day and went on a few roller coasters.  I never would have guessed that this is where we would be 10 years after our first date!!

When we arrived home on Saturday, we did some housecleaning and relaxing. It was also Ellie's 21st Monthday, so I will post on that as well.  Ellie was still pretty wired from our adventure but was also extremely tired and slept through the whole night by herself in the crib. 

On Sunday, we took a trip to Costco to stock up and then we were back outside finishing up some yard maintenance. I pulled some more weeds, scooped a shitload of horse poop, and spread some lime (to help cut the moss) and lawn fertilizer. We also picked up some fern "bulbs"? from Costco so I got those planted as well.  I am so happy with our beautiful weather lately and so enjoy getting out there and "dirty".  

Oh and Thomas got our cabinet hung in our bathroom so now it's just touching up some paint right now and then we are  just needing some finishing touches: mirrors, lights, cabinet knobs, towels, and floors. Maybe we will replace the countertops, but that is in the future. 

Today I am busy unpacking, getting some mulch to spread in the gardens, and paint touch ups on the walls in the bathroom. 

How was your weekend? What have you been up to?

♥ Ashley 

Linking up here

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Checking in

Hey ladies!! I just wanted to check in real quick and let you know I'm still here!!

We are busting living it up in Disneyland this week! So far Ellie is having the best time. She was a champ on the plane and is running around like a maniac (diaper changes are a bit challenging). You can follow our adventure on IG @lifeonthefarm for quick pictures!! 

Have a great week!

♥ Ashley

Friday, February 13, 2015

I Love Friday

These weeks are seriously going by so fast. I think that might be what happens when you get into the groove of things (although I have to be honest I've felt like we are way further into February than just the 13th!).  Life has been pretty good to us lately and I am looking forward to some more positive things coming our way!


Tomorrow is LOVE DAY.  I had all sorts of plans to try and do a Valentines photo shoot with Ellie but time just slipped away - maybe I'll get it done a day late.  I did try to do some more craftsy things with my girl (and two of the kids that I watch) to help me get out of my comfort zone a little more.  Last week we did some painting and holy cow did Ellie love it!  I have trained her well (and am a huge helicopter) that it was actually a very clean experience.  I did kind of cheat and do the project at one of my nanny houses....but progress.  This week I made cookies with the kids and this morning I made this recipe, I added in some chex cereal as well because Ellie is addicted.  Thanks Mel!!! it is so good. Tomorrow my MIL is taking Ellie for the day so that Thomas and I can head out to the Flower and Garden Show in Seattle and make a day date out of it.  We even looked through the program and have decided to go to one of the seminars - of course its the one about raising goats.  This flower show is near and dear to my heart since I grew up going to it with my mom, so many great memories and I love that I am able to share her gardening passion!

Master Bath Makeover

I feel like all I have been doing since the new year is work in our master bathroom.  On Monday I posted my inspiration board and really hope that I am able to achieve the overall look on a lesser budget.  After some further discussion we have chosen to go with a marble look tile and a dark grout - hopefully we can get that installed before the summer.  I just have a few places I need to touch up the paint this weekend and then dare I say it? I think I will be done with all the painting!!! Well at least until we pick out some mirrors and then I'll need to paint behind the existing mirrors.  It's coming along, slowly but surely and I am so excited to finally be done and to have our bathroom back!!


I also posted about my second Stitch Fix this week.  It was a total fail, except I did decide to keep the grey top.  I so love getting these fixes in the mail and trying on all the stuff.  After this one I did go back and make a few changes to my profile, so hopefully that will help me to get a better fix next time.  And if you have been on the fence and want to sign up, please do so through my referral link here, that way I can get a nice little bonus on my next fix!!


You may have noticed the GoFundMe widget on my sidebar.  Thomas and I set that up so that we can fundraise to adopt a brother for Ellie.  Our goal is to raise at least half of the total costs for adoption, so that would be about $10,000.  Before we can even officially start the process we are needing to raise $2,500. that will pay for our home study, and re-application fee's with our agency.  One of my good blog friends has made our first donation and we are so blessed by her generosity.  Any little bit helps us get closer to growing our family and giving Ellie the blessing of a brother.  Siblings can bring so much more love, kindness, and fun into a family.  Since getting pregnant is pretty much not in the cards for us we are not going to be able to give Ellie a sibling the "easy" way, we were so pleased with our adoption experience with Ellie that we are going to go through the same agency again and hopefully bring a brother home for Ellie in the next 12 months!  The process is long, complicated, emotional and expensive but you really can't put a price on family!!  It is our hope to be a family of 6, so more likely than not we will go through this process a total of four times (unless we get crazy lucky with twins!!)  Anything will help us on this journey, whether it be a monetary donation or prayers for a quick and seamless adoption process, or sharing our GoFundMe page, it all means the world to us!!  Thank you.


On Wednesday I had one hour that was kid-free and all to myself!! That rarely happens.  Thomas picked Ellie up on his way home from work, my nanny mom got home early and I had an hour to spare before it was time to head to MOPs.  So I did what any mom would do when she is kid-free and headed myself straight to Target and then the mall.  I probably went against #momcode and all I did was "shop" for Ellie!! Oh my word there are so many cute things out there right now for toddler girls and I want it ALL!!! But with an adoption and its costs in the near future I just got to enjoy looking at all the sweet clothes (not to mention but the baby boys clothes are so cute too).  I am on a huge floral kick right now and this top is so cute! Why can't I find anything like this for me? c'mon stitch fix get it for me!!! Then I headed over to Old Navy and am swooning over this this this this and this. I mean seriously. Of course you can shop all of these through Ebates and get cash back on all of your purchases.  If you haven't signed up for Ebates yet feel free to do so through my referral link and you'll get a $10 Target card and I'll get a nice little something on my next big fat check!!

Happy Friday Y'all have a great weekend and Happy Valentine's Day too!

♥ Ashley

Linking up everywhere today, click to see.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Hugs & Kisses

Y'all it started happening about two weeks ago. I remember reading about it and words can't do it justice. 

For a while now I ask Ellie for hugs and she says "squeeze" as she hugs hard and then gives kisses when asked as well (though not always willingly). 

Ellie has started giving kisses on her own. Oh my word it melts my mama heart. About a week ago I was holding her, as I often do, and the next thing I know she is giving my should kisses! Last week we took a quick stroll through HobbyLobby and as I'm looking at knobs for our bathroom vanity I feel something on my knuckle, I look over and girlfriend is kissing my hand. Last night I was sitting on the chair while she was playing and she can over to give my knee a kiss. 

It is hands down adorable and something I don't ever want to forget. Ellie started giving kisses all by herself at 20 months old. 

The hugs and kisses are just reserved for mama and dada, friends, babies, toys and stuffies are also happy recipients. 

What fun things have your toddlers been up to?

♥ Ashley 

Linking up here