Saturday, August 31, 2013

New Purpose to Garden

Right now this little girl gets her nutrition from a bottle. But I understand some time in the next few months she's gonna start eating "people" food, otherwise known as solids (well puréed actually).

Artichoke, Swiss Chard, Kale, and Broccoli

As I have shared before: we grow our food. Not all the food we need (but wouldn't that be cool?) but enough to get us through and satisfy our ability to provide for ourselves. 

Tomatoes and Cucumber

This year our garden took on a WHOLE NEW meaning, Ellie. I thought I wanted to do cloth diapers  but the thought of laundering poop is a little to much for my OCD self.  So the next best thing I can do for my little one is grow her first foods!  Organically. This venture might prove to be a little overwhelming but I am going to at least give it a try. 

Pumpkins and Sunflowers


I have already started prepping her food. I have harvested, blanched and frozen many items for her. Once Ellie gets to the point where she can start on puréed solids I am going to steam the frozen veggies, purée, and then freeze in ice cube trays to portion it out. Once the purées get frozen in the cubes I will then place them into a freezer bag and keep in the freezer until she is ready to eat. Then I guess I'll heat up a cube and let her try it out!

Peppers, Pumpkins, and Swiss Chard


I hope you have enjoyed the pics if my garden. I didn't get photos throughout the season. Just what it looks like today. We have planted: peas, lettuce, kale, cabbage, broccoli, artichoke, Swiss chard, beans, tomatoes, zucchini, cucumber, and peppers. 


Gardening takes time and some effort but I have found it pretty easy. You just need a sunny area, dirt, water and veggie seeds or starts. Pretty simple, you just water daily, fertilize once if you want and then harvest and enjoy the "fruits" of your labor!!


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Magnetic Chalkboard

Back in January I made a list. On this list were things I wanted to accomplish in 2013. I divided the list into outside projects and inside projects. On the entire list I had 22 things I wanted to complete. We have done like 8. That's okay because we still have some time an if it doesn't get done in 2013 then hopefully it will in 2014.

One of the items on the inside projects list was to turn the pantry doors in our kitchen into a magnetic chalkboard. I chose this because we are hoping to replace our fridge (sometime in the next 20 years) to a stainless option and I guess that they aren't magnetic and i wante a place for E to play with magnets. I have actually been thinking about doing this for a few years but wrote it down in January. I finally got it done last week. (Yes the same week I had three interviews and ran all around my school district begging for a job!!). 

I am so pleased with how it turned out and cannot wait for Ellie to get bigger and use this activity station I created for her! 

Here is what the pantry doors looked like before:

It was a challenge trying to figure out how to accomplish this task. I didn't want to spend a whole lot of money and use what I already had on hand. You can see that the doors have a grainy wood texture and they are hollow core. I asked at my local hardware store what they would suggest. They mentioned using spackle to fill in the grooves. Then to use magnetic paint as a primer and then paint over with chalkboard paint. 

I learned a lot while doing this project. I tried to adhere the spackle while the doors were hung but that didn't work so we removed them and I worked on our back deck. I applied the spackle to one door and then Thomad sanded all the doors for me. Once sanded they all felt the same texture so I did not waste time spackling the other 3 doors. 

I had a bit of trial and error with the magnetic paint. I actually bought a can of it back in April and its been sitting in our garage. I got it out last week and shook it up. The directions say to use a paint stirrer to keep it evenly distributed, I didn't have one so I figured my hand shaking was good enough. I painted 2 coats onto one board and it was clear. That was strange. So I found an old piece of wood to stir it up only to find all the magnetic flecks we stuck at the bottom and it was extremely difficult to stir up. I got it good enough to do a single coat on each door. Then I ran out. Back to the hardware store and this time I had them shake it up and give me several paint stir sticks!  I also got the chalkboard paint and had them shake that up as well. 

Back at home I shook and stirred and painted two more magnetic coats on the doors. This was quick since you could reapply after just 30 minutes!! But the paint was gloppy and didn't go on as smooth as I was hoping.  Then it was chalkboard paint time. This was a smoother paint and I was able to apply it evenly. I thought two coats would be good. This took longer even though the painting was smoother because each coat required 24 hours to cure!!

Now they are finally hung and I have a great place for Ellie to play with magnets and draw on the "walls"!!

I still want to paint the trim white and change out the knobs. But for now this project is done and crossed off the list!!


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

{weekly update} week 14

How can another week be gone already?  This summer has just flown by! It's crazy but this little girl has grown and developed so much. I just love her and am so happy she is in my life!!

Weight: I have decided that I am going to remove this part of her weekly updates and reserve it for the monthly update. It seems redundant and I don't weigh her so we will just wait for the official weigh ins from the doctors office. 

Sleep: Little nugget has been a good girl this week. We were a little busy running around for three days in a row, so her naps were disrupted. But she is now waking once a night (around 4am) and going close to 7 hour stretches!! Ellie has also started to transition into her bassinet for naps (sometimes) and is doing well enough. 

Diet: Same as before. We shoot for about 24 ounces a day and she is still on Similac Sensitive formula. We love her Dr. Brown bottles and are still using the level one nipple. 

Crying: Par for the course. Little Miss E cries when she is hungry, tired, or hurt. Sometimes we just get a random cry in there with no explanation I can come up with so I think she just has a memory or thought of me using the nasal aspirator to suck out her boogers and it makes her sad!

Social: Nugget was pretty social this week going around my school district, her first fair (my fave one up in Monroe- The Evergreen State Fair), shopping in my fave town (Snohomish -full of antique stores!) and attended an engagement party for her Uncle!! And visited her Grandpas (my dad) house for the first time!

Clothes: Ellie is really fitting well into 0-3 month sized clothes, three of our fave newborn onsies are still fitting her. And she is still wearing size 1 diapers so we can still get the Pampers Swaddlers with the blue line alert!

Baby Gear Love: I was introduced to the app Offer Up from my sis in law, so I was able to find an Ergo Baby for 1/2 price!! I am SO in love with it!! She is still really liking the tummy time mirror we got and loving her activity mat!!  And of course her swing is still our go to for a nap when the bassinet won't do it for her!

Milestones: Baby girl found her feet this week!! She is so fascinated with them and loves to watch them move and wiggle! She rolled over again (she has stopped for the past couple weeks) so I think that is back!  Better aim and more deliberate when batting at her hanging toys with her hands. She also is "talking" a lot more and makes a kissing sound and the repeats when we do it!!

Mama: I also had a busy week. I had three interviews!! I didn't mention on here that my contract was not continued back in June, so I have been searching all summer for another job. I finally got some leads and put in my résumé and application at a few places. Ellie came with me and we went all over my school district seeing if there was any possibility for me to return. Got some potential good news from the High School but still searched. I interviewed at an Eye Doctors office, day care and at another private school. Then I got a call saying that they could bring me back at the high school and my prayers had been answered and my faith stronger that God will provide!!  Needless to say my last week of vacation was busy and not the relaxing spend time with Ellie I was hoping for. But I am so excited to be back at the SAME school this year, it's a first for me!!

My dearest little Ellie Faith. I love you!!

- Ashley

Monday, August 26, 2013

Cara Box! Seasons

I participated in the Cara Box exchange again this month over at and got matched up with two lovely ladies. 

This months theme was seasons of life. No set theme just to get our girl something good for where she is in life!

I got Sybil over at Peace it all Together. She is lovely and is so inspirational. I live her blog and how she shares what is going on and how to find strength in The Lord. To see what I got her head on over to her blog at:

Heather from Lawless Life had me. She is so sweet and has a big heart. I just live the box she sent me. It was so fun going to my mailbox and seeing that it had arrived!!  She gave me a sweet little note and then some great goodies. 

I got a headband. Which will be great when I start up teaching again next week. Some mints, lip balm and a cute little bracelet and coin purse. I also got a note pad that will be great on my desk. She also included a great hat with g detail! I love it!!

If you are interested in joining this super cool exchange contact Kaitlin at!!

- Ashley 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

{monthdate} three months

Dearest Ellie Faith,

How can it be that you are already three months old? It really seems like just yesterday you were born and we were making the drive home from Spokane. We feel so blessed to have you in our life and enjoy every moment we have with you. Sweet sweet Ellie you really are a dream come true. 

We have done so many things this month with you and you have been so good and just followed along. 

We had an evening photo shoot with my dear friend Susie and the pictures are amazing. 

You got your first congested nose cold. 

We went on our first overnight vacation as a family to Chelan (including grandparents, aunties, uncles, and cousins). You were a good girl and did really good sleeping. 

Stats: (no appointment for 3 months)
Height: guessing longer than 21"
Weight: somewhere in the 11-12 pound range
Head: larger than 15 1/4"
Food: eating 4 to 6 ounces at each feeding about five times a day. 
Diapers: size one. 
Clothes: 0-3 months are fitting well. 
Sleeping: pretty well through the night 6-7 hours. And then still has a few naps during the day. 
Cries: when hungry and sometimes when she is tired or unsettled. 
Loves: rocking in her swing, eating, diaper changes, mobile, holding her blankets, making funny faces and "talking" with us. 
Hates: still not a big fan of getting her boogers out and sleeping in her bassinet.

Mama's proudest moment: that she recognizes me and calms down with me. 

Daddy's proudest moment: that Ellie recognizes me and smiles when she sees me. 

Oops of the month: forgetting to pack burp cloths and bibs in the diaper bag. 

Things we are looking forward to: getting our adoption finalized this month!! 

We just love you so much and are so proud to be your parents. We love watching you grow and being with you together this summer!!

Mama and Daddy

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

{weekly update} week 13

Here we are again another week down. It's just so funny how fast time goes by when you have a little one. I mean it took FOREVER for Ellie to get here and now the weeks are just flying by. 

Weight: Girlfriend is getting bigger so I'm sure she weighs more than last week. 

Sleep: Ellie Faith is really a good night sleeper. She is definitely more aware during the day so she is a little more sensitive during her naps. We know we have to transition her from the swing to the bassinet for her naps but she doesn't sleep as well in there. Live and learn. 

Diet: Little E loves to eat. Most feedings are still four ounces though we get a six ouncer in there every once in a while. Hoping to get her to four 6 ounce feedings a day here pretty soon. 

Crying: Same story as previous weeks. Hungry and tired cries. And then of course if we accidentally scratch her - she no likey. 

Social: Baby girl still likes to meet people and is In Love with her daddy, he gets all the smiles. She is a little shopper and LOVES to look around at things now. 

Clothes: Little girl is still a tiny kiddo. But the 0-3 month size definitely fits better now. 

Milestones: LOVES Daddy. Grabbing things with her hands and kicking with her feet. Found the tv and loves the lights. Coos and gurgles. Makes kissing smack sound. And is turning towards sounds!! Enjoys tummy time for longer periods. 

Baby Gear Love: Really getting A LOT of use outta our Skip Hop activity mat. We got a baby mirror that she loves for tummy time. Our stroller is a hunk but a super smooth ride!  And our Summer Swaddle wraps a still a total hit for sleep time (naps and nighttime sleep). And as mentioned above she loves her swing. 

Mama: As the beginning of the school year is approaching I am anxious about my job and hours. I have been in contact with my school to see what my options are. Really hoping and praying that something works out and that I won't miss out too much on Ellie's milestones and development. 

I am just so in love with this little girl and so thankful that God brought her into our lives. She fills me up with so much love. I love this age that she is and witnessing all of the discoveries that she is making!