Tuesday, April 22, 2014

NIAW (national infertility awareness week)

Y'all there is a whole week dedicated to celebrating me - not that I really want you to be celebrating this part of me. 

I didn't choose to be the 1 out of 8 couples who suffers from infertility but I am. 

It sucks. 

What I can do about it is to bring knowledge and awareness of it. 

  • 1 in 8 couples suffer from infertility 
  • 12% of women (of the baby making age) are infertile 
  • 25% of couples have more than 1 contributing factor
  • 10% of couples experience unexplained infertility
  • 1/3 of infertility is a female factor
  • 1/3 of infertility is a male factor
  • Less than 3% of couples need to go the IVF route
  • On average IVF costs $19,234 - none of which is covered by insurance, so this total amount is out of pocket expenses.

Here is the thing about Infertility.  Those who suffer from it are unable to do the one thing we are supposed to do - procreate for whatever reason.  
For some reason this in an embarrassing or shameful thing to talk about.  I mean really who wants to ruin the mood of a conversation by announcing the inability to get pregnant or even the loss of a pregnancy.  
I know for myself - I don't like telling people when I have a miscarriage.  I can't really tell you why, I guess its because I don't want to be a "Debbie Downer" of sorts.  
Its also very emotional to talk about that type of loss and most people either don't understand or don't know how to react or what to say.  So it just makes things awkward.  

Often times we suffer from infertility silently.  You can't look at someone and know they are infertile. You only know if they share it with you and then depending on how busy you life is - you might forget that they are suffering from it and make comments that really aren't appreciated.

Infertility sucks. Period. If you suffer from it you are constantly being reminded of it - any time you see a pregnant girl, a newborn, when your period starts, or when you get that nasty negative on your latest pregnancy test.

The other thing that sucks about infertility? Its NOT considered to be a life threatening disease so most health insurances DO NOT cover it.  That means that any type of medical treatment you seek for this disease - you have to pay ALL EXPENSES out of your own pocket (unless you are raising money for it) and this treatment IS NOT cheap.  So that sucks too. 

♥ Ashley

{weekly update} week 48

So my sweet little nugget of a girl is 48 weeks old today!! How on earth did that happen?  What I can tell you is that life with her just keeps getting better and better!!  Her little personality is just the best and I just want to spend all of my time with her!!

Eats: Girlfriend is quite the eater! Aside from sweets (pie, sweet potatoes, cake, frosting) this girl will eat just about anything.  We still have yet to try out meat - so I guess we probably want to start that soon.  The thing is, I understand that once meat is introduced their poop starts to smell really bad....She is doing well with her sippy cup and got to play around with her new Straw Sippy Cup that she got in her Easter Basket on Sunday.  She understood how to use it right away and was so cute drinking her water from it!! I think I will have to go get a few more!

Sleeps: Little E sleeps pretty well until about 3:30am and then we bring her into our bed.  I am sure that if we just rocked her back to sleep she would be fine in her crib for the rest of the night - but we just want to get back to sleep ourselves so she comes into the bed with us.  Her naps have been off and on for the past couple of weeks.  I do see 3 more teeth coming in so that might have a little to do with her sleep patterns lately.

Goes: I don't think that Baby Girl got to go anywhere new this week. We did head up to Snohomish to check out the antique stores (I think I found the mirror for our guest bathroom makeover) and then out to eat a few times.  We also went to my sister's house for Easter on Sunday - but she has been there before.

Loves: Ellie Faith got some new things this week that she is super fond of.  First we got a pair of moccs from The Coral Pear (review coming soon) and she totes loved them!  Then we also hit up our local Goodwill and got some toys for her (no worries we practically used a whole can of lysol cleaning them off!).  She got a push walker toy [now she is zooming all over the house its so cute!] and the same activity table that my MIL (Nanny) has at her house [ours is just missing the detachable phone].  She is loving both of them. Again she loves any toys that make noise and anything she can pull herself up with (or climb!).

Does:  She got to celebrate her first Easter! She is crawling and pulling up on everything (luckily no new bruises this week!) She is trying to climb [we need to move her mattress down again!] onto anything she can get her feet on.  Three new teeth are starting to come in - one has finally broken through on Sunday!  She can clap her hands, wave, and give high fives on command (so long as she isn't distracted) She is also starting to play peek-a-boo!!

Mama: I had a pretty good week...it was hard though being back at work after a whole week home with her.  I did have Friday off so that was nice to only have to come back to a 4-day work week.  I did have two migraines this past week but their intensity wasn't as bad as before so maybe my meds are working?  I know they are making me crave sweets like crazy - and no, I am not pregnant (wouldn't that be a miracle) as my cycle started this weekend.  However, we are discussing "Operation Get Ellie a Sibling" a lot so we are going to start the adoption process again here pretty soon - unless of course God chooses to bless us with a pregnancy (PLEASE!!).  So with that in mind I am trying to come up with some ideas to raise money for a second adoption.  If you would like to donate to us to help us grow our family, please email me.  We do have a Paypal account for donations if you feel called to do so!

My sweetest Ellie Faith, you are a complete joy to be a parent of.  We feel so blessed to have such an even tempered little girl as our first child.  Thank you so much for all of your sweet smiles, giggles, and hugs!  I love you so incredibly much and you truly are the light of my life!!

♥ Ashley

Monday, April 21, 2014

{monthdate} eleven months

I can't believe that my sweet little girl is already 11 months! Boy time sure does fly!  You are acting more and more like a little toddler everyday and I am just loving this stage with you.

We have had an absolutely awesome time with you this month!! You continue to be the sweetest, even tempered little girl and are just a total crack up!!

Things we have been up to this month:

  • We got to spend a whole week with you for our Spring Break!
  • You started crawling and pulling up everywhere.
  • We are now officially in the "bumps and bruises" stage - for some reason you prefer to hit your right cheek on things the most.
  • We went to a different park and you got to go on the swings - your favorite activity so far!
  • We also got to celebrate your First Easter!! (only a few more firsts to go and then you will be going into your seconds!)

Stats: No official stats. 
Height: guessing around 29"
Weight: somewhere in the 21 pound range
Head: larger than 19"
Food: still loving the bottle, you will occasionally drink water out of your sippy cup. Eating a variety of foods: yogurt, breads, pasta (with sauce), mashed potatoes, rice, cooked veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, squash, corn, carrots, beans, peas) fruit purees (apples, raspberries, pears, peaches, apricots, prunes).  You are not really a fan of sweets which I am not complaining about!
Diapers: size three
Clothes: 6-12 month. We are starting to invest in larger sizes now 12-18 months
Sleeping: you are sleeping unswaddled and prefer to be on your side or tummy.  You sleep pretty well through the night but generally have a wake-up around 3:30 am and we bring you into bed with us and you sleep until 6:30 or 7:00am
Cries: rarely. Usually because you mouth is hurting you or you are hungry/tired.  

Loves: baths, eating, clapping, the hair dryer blowing on her face, rolling over, anything that makes noise, waving, crawling and walking with assistance.

Hates: still not a big fan of getting her boogers out and no longer enjoys being upside down.

Mama's proudest moment:  when we are playing on the floor and she climbs into my lap for a hug!

Daddy's proudest moment: how she says and whispers "dada" 

Oops of the month: 

Things we are looking forward to: Ellie walking, talking and her first birthday!!! 

♥ Ashley 

click to see her previous monthdate posts: one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten!

Monday Meals Mashup #5 [linkup]

Ok can I please just say that I really disliked last week?  Only because we DIDNT have a menu for the week and each day after work I was wondering what we should have for dinner!!!

Monday Meals Mashup

So we fixed that and got a menu figured out for this week!

Here's what we are having:

Monday: Chicken Paillard super easy and really good!

Tuesday: Tacos! 

Wednesday: it's our last MOPs meeting of the year so I am thinking I should go since I missed the last one. 

Thursday: Pasta! The good thing is - Ellie can eat it too!!

Friday: Dinner out. Let someone else do the cooking!!

Saturday: Chicken Salad. Just get a roast chicken and shred it up. Some lettuce, croutons, sunflower seeds, tomatoes, avocados, and any other thing you want to add to your salad ADD some ranch dressing and you are good to go!

Sunday: We have had a turkey in the freezer for a couple months and were thinking that this day is a perfect day to bust it out and have some good old Thanksgiving in April!!

Be sure to check out Susie's blog to see what she has cooking up!!

♥ Ashley

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter!!!

He is Risen...He is Risen Indeed!!!!

I am so excited to be celebrating this holiday with my sweet little bunny!

Ellie got two Easter baskets this year! One from us and one from her Nanny and Papa!!

In her basket from us this year I wanted to stay fairly practical. She got bubbles, a book, sidewalk chalk, a sippy cup, yogurt melts, and some bunny ears!! 

I want Ellie to enjoy these holidays and make them special for her but I don't want to go overboard!  You'll notice she didn't get any stuffed animals (that's because she already has a TON!) She already LOVES her book and the bubbles!

At Nanny and Papa's yesterday she got a tremendously awesome Easter basket!!

She got a "princess" brush that makes magical noises, a chew "necklace", some candies (for mama and daddy), a laughing toy, and the cutest sunglasses!

She is going to be a little fashionista for sure!!

I think it's safe to say that Ellie really enjoyed her first Easter celebrations!!!


Friday, April 18, 2014

F I V E : Easter, OOTD, etc

Hey ladies!

Not only is it Friday but it's Good Friday. That means that we are getting ready to celebrate the Resurection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!  I can't tell you what a wonderful holiday this is. But Jesus really is the reason for the season! I think that Easter comes at the best time of year because (at least in these here parts) all the flowers and trees are coming back to life from bein dormant during the winter!

Working at a Christian school this holiday rocks!  We also get today off and you know I can't complain about having an extra day with Ellie!!

// o n e //
I went shopping a few weeks ago and picked up my first maxi skirt. Let me tell you I love it and got lots of compliments on it. The only problem is, I'm short and these skirts are LONG. so I'm going to have to do some altering so I can wear it with flats this spring/summer!

// t w o //
Easter is on sadly and I am super excited to celebrate one of the last firsts in Ellie's life!! She is getting an Easter basket.  We kept it pretty low key this year and shopped the dollar bins at Target and the DollarTree. Her basket is vintage (it's the one I had growing up!)

// t h r e e //
I finally got some of my spring decor up!! I found the box of Easter decorations I got from my parents home after my mom passed away and discovered so many goodies from my childhood!!

I guess I have a lot of bunnies!

// f o u r //
The bathroom is pretty close to finally being done!! Hooray! I just have to get some finishing touches; a new mirror, light fixture, towel racks and artwork. Then I have to do some final touch ups with the paint and nail holes an then we are done!!!

// f i v e //
I got a new bracelet that I am super excited about!  I have been wanting to get a leather wrap bracelet for a while now and finally found the perfect one. It's totally going to beat wearing hair bands around my wrist at work to cover my tattoo!! It wraps around my wrist three times and I love te cross detail. 


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Live and Learn: How to Paint (or at least what NOT to do!)

Ladies!!! I wanted to share something with you and I thought that today would be perfect for it!!  I am linking up with my dear friend Sarah from Life as Always for her Live and Learn linkup on Thursdays!!  If you haven't checked out her blog before make sure you stop by today!!

We have done our fair share of painting in our home since moving in 6 years ago.  And through all of my experiences painting nearly every room in our house I have LEARNED a lot!

Here is some backstory: We have an older home built in 1989 and let me tell you it is a pure product of the 80's!!  and that is NOT a compliment.  I don't know about you but that yellowish oak color that was so in back then makes me want to barf!!   sorrynotsorry if you like it. Not to mention the couple we purchased the house from never changed the decor of the house (or the paint on the walls or the carpet on the floor) for the 20 years they lived there!!  needless to say much of it is was an eyesore. 

I will be the first to admit that my decor style has changed over the past 6 years and I am wanting to change some of the makeovers we have done previously.  

Our first plan of attack was to paint the ceiling and walls before we moved in you know to cover up the 20 year old builders paint!.  Which we did: the living room, dining room, kitchen and hallway all got a fresh new coat (or two) of paint.  

:: First Lesson I Learned - make sure you know the tone of the color you are picking and try out a sample before buying 6 gallons of it!!!  I was hoping to go for a taupe color very light almost white but still had some color to it.  We chose a color called "Arizona Tan".  Sure tan isn't taupe but the color on the 1inch by 1inch square looked good to us.  Fastforward to painting the living room and the color I kid you not was the color of FLESH!! I felt like we were inside a stomach or something.  It was awful.  So we took the paint back and tried to have them add some other pigment to it to get rid of the pink undertones.  Not wanting to waste the paint we went ahead and put this color on all of the walls I mentioned above ::

Eventually I painted over the hallway, dining room and living room with a couple of different colors.  I found the best color for what I was originally wanting which is no longer available: Martha Stewart Potter Slip.  Since I still have the paint chip and a can they can remake it for me but without it I would be lost!  And then we did some accent walls in Green.

I then painted our guest bathroom yellow and thanks to our Siberian Husky I got tile floors installed and a new white paneled door!  (see that gross wood color? I hate it!)

before: 20 year old paint and linoleum

 after: fresh new yellow walls and new tile! (I also painted the windowsill white!)

:: Second Lesson I Learned - think about your color combinations!!  The problem with the yellow bathroom?  Well we used to have brown towels in there and the shower curtain has a light brown color.  It wasn't until I watched Sarah Richardson on HGTV that I realized how bad that color combination really is!  She said that yellow and brown are reserved for only one spot in the house - the toilet!! and I have wanted to re-paint ever since.

So now we are doing our second makeover in the guest bathroom.  I can't give a whole lot of details as I am planning for a reveal soon.  What I can tell you is we are changing the colors, lighting and other details as well.

So what have I learned during this bathroom makeover and paint?

:: Third Lesson I Learned - regardless of your budget invest in quality paint products and prep appropriately.  We bought cheap tape and cheap rolling brushes - you know to try and keep the cost down.  Well it backfired.  Our taping ability and prep-work was seriously lacking.  Maybe that was because I was "in a hurry" to get it done.  I would like to blame the texture on the walls but alas I think we just didn't do a good job in prepping or investing in quality tape.  The paint bled all over the ceiling and window casing meaning that I have a lot of clean up work to do.  In addition the tape kept falling off the ceiling and walls as I was painting.  Partly because the tape was cheap but also because we didn't clean all the dust off first! So there was nothing for it to stick to in the first place!

 a few days ago (yes this is in black and white)

So what I would like you to learn from this painting experience:
1. Take the time to properly prep your area for painting: dusting and cleaning out the area
2. Invest in quality painting equipment: painters tape, drop cloths, paint brushes and rollers
3. Try out a sample or two of the colors you are wanting to use to make sure they are the right color
4. Consider the other colors you will be putting into the space to ensure that they all go together well and are reminiscent of something unappealing!
5. Do not rush during the painting process.  Take your time so that you can do a quality job.

Well I hope these tips help you to avoid the hiccups we have had over the years!! Stay tuned for our bathroom reveal here on the blog fairly soon!

♥ Ashley

Life As Always

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Life Lately

Hey there ladies!!

I thought I would give a little update of our life here lately.

First of all let me tell you how wonderful it was to have Spring Break last week!! It was just what I needed.

I loved spending all that extra time with our sweet Ellie.  She has become quite the walker and dare devil! She pulls up on almost anything and thinks she is the coolest ever for being able to stand.  Her little personality is growing and she is becoming more independent but still loves to crawl over to us for cuddles. (I hope that never changes!) < funny story: we were the volunteers in the nursery this past Sunday and got to see Ellie in action with all her "friends".  She was one of the youngest in there and only wanted the toys that the other children had and actually pulled them out of their grasp!!! Luckily when I took them away from her, returned them to the previous "owner" and gave her a different one she didn't get very upset.  She just had her "mini-tantrum" as I call it where she tenses up all her muscles at once and sort of shakes for about 2 seconds and then was totally fine!! So I guess we are going to have to work on sharing!

The weather was beautiful and we had the chance to go outside and do some much needed yard work.  I did A LOT of weeding (and still have a bunch to do) and my back was killing me!! Ellie had a blast being out on a blanket in the dappled shade of one of our trees and exploring this new world!  This was making me SO SO excited for Summer Break! I am so looking forward to nearly 2 1/2 months with my little girl!!

We began work on our Guest Bathroom Makeover.  As you know we are teachers and we try to do everything on a budget (enter in the Dollar Tree, Goodwill, etc) as well as do the work ourselves.  Well we thought we had everything in order for this makeover but it turns out it is taking longer than I had planned (which usually always happens) and we found out that we didn't have everything we needed to get it done by my self appointed completion date of last Sunday.  So we still have an unfinished bathroom in our house.  Hopefully it will be done soon so I can do a reveal.  I think that it is turning out wonderfully and can see my vision coming to fruition!

We are also looking forward to Easter!!  I have most of the items picked out for Ellie's First Easter Basket and I am so excited to put it all together!!  We have a pretty busy weekend with celebrating this holiday with both of our families.  Saturday is the Egg Hunt with Thomas family and their tradition Easter Noodles (anyone else have this tradition?)  and then Sunday we are going to church with my Dad and then my sister is hosting an Easter lunch at her house!

I have noticed a trend in myself and my emotions.  I think that Ellie has a BIG part to do with it.  After our Christmas Break and I returned back to school I had what I called the "New Year's Blues". I didn't feel extremely motivated to get back to work.  I felt "blue".  After a couple weeks - and a semester change - my energy was renewed and I was no longer questioning my profession.  I love being a teacher and getting to work with the awesome students I have every day.  They make my life so much brighter and warm my heart incredibly.  But I have to confess, I am feeling the "Spring Time Blues" this week.  I think that this is happening because I just loved being at home with Ellie so much that my heart aches now that I have to be at work!!  She consumes my thoughts, as does Thomas, and all I want to do is have family time!!  Again I love my kiddos (students) but can it just be Summer Time already?!!?!?!??!!

Do you ever find yourself in a rut at work?  What do you do to help yourself out of it?

♥ Ashley

a Humpday Confession

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

{weekly update} week 47

Hey there Ladies!! Its Tuesday so that means we are having another check in with my sweet baby girl, Ellie!  I just love her so much.  We had THE best week this past week as we were on Spring Break and go to spend the whole week with her to ourselves.  As she gets older she is making it harder and harder to leave and return to work after our breaks!!

Eats:We introduced quite a bit of new foods to her this week.  Oranges, bananas, yogurt, lettuce, (doritos), and then her basics that she loves.  She is becoming more interested in feeding herself but still lets us do the spoon work!!  Our attempts with the Sippy are going well for the most part.

Sleeps: pretty sure we are still in some sort of regression here.  Her schedule was a bit off this week as we had projects and things we wanted to do during our break.  She is such a trooper and has the best disposition.  She generally goes down for bed around 7:30-8:30 and then we put her in her crib (while asleep).  She is pretty good until about 3:30am when she wakes up and starts crawling/pulling up to standing in her crib.  So we bring her into bed and she is our until 6:30-7:00am.

Goes:  Girlfriend got to go to the Tulip Fields this week up in La Connor!!  It is about a 2+ hour drive and she slept the whole way up and the way back!! It was so fun to share this tradition with her!  Other places were pretty much the regular: Target, Grocery Store, Restaurants.  We also took her to the park to try out the swings for the first time and she LOVED them! I have a video of her swinging and laughing its adorable!! You can watch it on my IG account @lifeonthefarm She also got to go outside an play with our farm animals. Turns out her favorite is the mini horse!

Loves: we made a "penny toy" out of a water bottle and a handful of pennies. She loves to shake it and make noise. We did something similar with plastic Tupperware and other toys inside to make noise when she shakes them. Her activity cube is still a fave and she is discovering new parts of it! She still loves Sophie and the remote control. 

Does: She is a little dare devil, pulling up on everything and trying to climb up the tv stand, on her pink walker and anything else that might have the slightest little edge for her foot!!!  She is getting her fair share of bumps and bruises with her curiosity but seems to get over the "ouchness" rather quickly (of course a shoulder ride will always bring smiles and giggles!).  She is a crawling maniac and also likes to watch TV, I only let her watch PBS Kids (Arthur), cooking shows, 19 Kids and Counting, and The Little Couple as of right now.   Other shows are on just for some background noise!!  I think I see another tooth coming in as well so hopefully she will get a few more!!

Mama: I am just loving this stage and age right now!! She is so much fun and making it harder for me to go to work these days!! (I am taking donations so we can afford for me to be a SAHM!!) I had a great time during Spring Break to get things crossed off my to do list and to get some think time in as I spent hours weeding our gardens!!  I have been taking a new medication for the past few weeks to help with my migraines along with some Magnesium and I can tell that my anxiety levels are already starting to decrease!!  I am looking forward to hopefully get these darn headaches under control so I don't miss out on any more time with my sweet little girl!!

Dear Ellie Faith, I love you so much.  Everyday just keeps getting better and better. Your sweet little personality is beginning to shine and I love how you are so interactive, smart, kind, and hilarious.  Thank you for all the special moments you have been giving me and for making me a Mama!! I love you!!

♥ Ashley