Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Little Things #14

Hey there ladies!! I am linking up with Jess and Ashley for their Little Things Linkup.  Sometimes our lives get so busy and hectic we forget to take a moment and enjoy those little things in our lives.  

Sadie Sky Boutique

Life with Ellie has been such a wonderful journey.  I have so enjoyed being her mama and watch her grow.  I often times find myself looking forward to the "next thing" with her I don't really take the time to sit and enjoy all the little things she does and is each day!

Today I want to talk to you about her feet and cankles ankles.  I just love them to death and never want to forget them!!

Ellie comes from short stalk (both of her parents are 5'4'' and no one is taller than 5'9'' in her immediate family).  [Ellie is adopted - we have an open adoption with her parents part 1 part 2] Even though she was a tiny baby being a shortcake when she gained weight there wasn't much place for it to go so she got fat feet and legs.  I love her chub and it just makes me so happy.  With that being said though, she can't wear shoes because of her pudgy feet.  I mean she can but they just aren't the right size for her.  And boots are TOTALLY out of the question. I have yet to find a pair that will go around her calves!  

So my baby has gone without wearing shoes for almost her whole life!  She can wear socks but those come off as soon as she in in her carseat and we hit the road. [and everyone and their mother has to let us know that she is a) missing a sock or b) she doesn't have anything on her feet] So it has been a challenge to find something to go on her feet.  

It really hasn't been much of an issue until lately when she has wanted to start walking.  Inside our house isn't a problem but when we are out and about the thought of her bare feet on the ground just doesn't sit well with me.  

But I found a solution!!!  I have heard so many things about how great moccasins are for babies and little's so I had to get my hands on a pair.  I was sent a pair of "The Coral Pear" baby moccs in Platinum and they are the Bee's Knees!! These are the first pair of shoes we have been able to get to fit over Ellie's chubby feet and the best part is that she can't get them off!! 

The quality and construction of these moccs are impeccable and we have received so many compliments on how adorable the shoes are.  I love the color Platinum because they are a neutral color and go with many of her outfits.  Also since they have the glimmer factor they can be dressed up and fancy or still look good with E's casual clothes!

Not only does The Coral Pear offer regular moccasins they also have bow moccasins which are to die for adorable!!

So if you are looking for a great shoe that will stay on your little one's feet I really think you should check out The Coral Pear

I just love Ellie's chubby feet and never want to forget how many times we have gone out shopping with my MIL and she sees a cute pair of shoes or boots for E and I have to exclaim "Yeah those won't fit her fat feet!!"

♥ Ashley

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

{weekly update} week 49

Stop it! I can't take it that my baby girl is 49 weeks!! Didn't we just bring her home from the hospital?!

I knew that she was going to be a lot of fun when she started gaining her independence by crawling, self feeding, and being able to play with her toys but I had no idea how much fun she was going to be!

pants: Ruffle Butts; headband: c/o Sweet T

Her little personality keeps shining through more and more each day and my heart grows bigger each day. I just love this little girl!

Eats: she still loves her bottles but is loving her big girl food-especially self feeding. She tried some meat this week and I think she liked it!  She is quite the adventurous eater and seems to like everything!

Sleeps: naps are still hit and kiss at this point (I think it's the teeth cutting through) and she is making it until about 2:30 or 3:00 am in her crib before we bring her into our bed.  Friday night we didn't have a paci for her (got left in Miss J's car) so that was a rough night. She isn't a huge paci girl but it does help her sleep. 

Goes: we went back up north to Snohomish to pick up the mirror I found for our bathroom makeover and stopped at Flower World to pick a few things up for our gardens. Aside from Flower World we didn't venture anywhere new. She did come visit me at work on my lunch break a couple of times and that makes me so happy!! We also spent time at Nanny and Papa's (mil and fil) and got to ride in the Jeep with her big cousin!! So fun and of course she wanted to go fast and then undid her seatbelt and stood up while they were moving!!!

Loves: her toys, blankets, walker, crawling around, the dogs, and chewing on things!  We put her Exersaucer into it's 3rd stage and now she is playing and discovering it in an all new way!! She is also really into her books now! Also she likes to "twin" with her daddy!

Does: two more teeth cut through this week. So now she has a total of four! (Three on the bottom and one on top). And I see the other top tooth and bottom tooth trying to cut through so we might be at 6 teeth very soon!! She signs "more", waves, and shakes her head "no" when she is done with her food!  I love how she can communicate with us this way. I think it is helping keep her frustrations at a minimum!

Mama: let's put this week in as one of the best yet!!! I just love this little girl!  I am having such a blast with her and being her mama! I love how she is keeping me on my toes with all of her movement. Summer is near and I am so looking forwar to spending about 10 weeks at home with her!!!!

Sweet Ellie Faith I love you so! You are a sweet, kind hearted, smart little girl and I am so looking forward to many more memories with you!!


Monday, April 28, 2014

Monday Meals Mashup #6 [linkup]

Hey ladies!  One of the reasons i decided I wanted to do a linkup on Mondays was to give myself something to look forward to on our first day back at work for the week!

Monday Meals Mashup

I have joined forces with one of my dear friends Susie from The Allison Wonderland. We went to school together (jr high, high school and college) but really became better friends through blogging!! Not only is she a great writer (who can convey her humor so well) but she is also an awesome photographer!!! She actually did our 3 month family photo shoot with Ellie and are figuring out a date for Ellie's one year photos!

So if you haven't already you need to grab a cup of coffee and stop by her blog  for some good belly laughing reading. Oh and to see what she's cooking up this week!

On to our kitchen this week here is what's happening:

If you remember we had Thanksgiving in April last night and have a bunch of leftovers. So I am making this week a smart one by using what we have to keep costs (and grocery store visits) to the minimum. 

Monday: I am going to make a turkey casserole. This one DOES NOT have noodles in it so I know that Thomas (and myself) will eat it. It's a recipe if my moms and I have to try and make it from memory. No worries I'll post the recipe once I have it handled!

Tuesday: the weather is supposed to be phenomenal here in the PNW this week so we are getting our grill on. Some BBQ chicken and stuffing cakes made out of leftover stuffing (if there is any....)

Wednesday: using the grill again for some steak. I'm using some leftover mashed potatoes and making them into pancakes for our side!!

Thursday: it's time for something light on the menu (and a little different) since we have been knee deep in thanksgiving food with temps in the high 70's so we are going to have a nice salad. 

Friday: enough with the kitchen already!!  We're heading out for someone else to cook for us and to work on Ellie's table and restaurant manners. Can never start them too young!

Saturday: Thomas has a Seattle Sounders soccer game in the evening so we are eating on our own tonight. I'll probably have cookies or something. I kid I kid! I'll take advantage of his absence and have some pasta!

Sunday: let's soup it up!! Not sure what kind but you can bet your bottom dollar it's gonna be goodness!!

What's cookin' in your kitchen this week? We would love to know so link on up below!!

♥ Ashley 



Friday, April 25, 2014

TGIF x 5

It's Friday. This should be a good thing. I think it might be but you be the judge of my day so far....

Selfies with the babe are always a favorite!!

// o n e //

I woke up with a migraine - so you can guess my morning. Good thing I talked my dad into prescribing me some 100mg migraine meds. Let me just share with you that I was super light headed, couldn't hold my coffee cup without my hands shaking and driving into work myself might not have been the best idea for the other cars on the road. But I made safe and soud and no ones life was actually put at risk. 

// t w o //

We are playing a volleyball unit in my PE classes this week. [Before I started teaching 7 years ago, I     H A T E D volleyball. It hurt my arms, the ball would never go where I wanted an there was NO WAY I was ever going to dvr too the gym floor for a stupid ball] Fast forward to teaching, when I was doing my student teaching I had to do a volleyball unit. The star player for the team was in my class.  She was the nicest girl ever. She was so kid and supportive of her classmates whose skills we lacking (but better than mine) and she was so encouraging no matter what!! It's because of her that I can do volleyball. It has now become my favorite sport to teach and I just keep getting better and better every time I play!! This year (I play in class with my high school kiddos) I am actually one of the first players picked for teams - not because I'm the teacher but because I can actually play!! I even dove for the ball earlier this week and have a gym floor burn on my ankle. 

// t h r e e //

When I go home from work today I sat down on the carpeted floor with Ellie to play. This is normal. What is not normal is when I stood up my butt was wet. I had Thomas smell my shorts and yes I sat in dog pee. Awesome!!! I had I take a quick shower (and change my clothes) before we went out to dinner. 

// f o u r //
We lost both of Ellie's binkies. Actually that isn't entirely true. We know where one of them is. It ran away in our nanny "Miss J's" car. When I went to grab her other one on my bedside table it was gone. No where to be found. Luckily we have a back up that until this point Ellie wouldn't even look at it! In a pinch it worked but now we have to go out and buy her a new one at the only store we know of that sells this particular pacifier that Ellie likes. 

// f i v e //

Life has been so busy and crazy lately that I haven't had a chance to work on our bathroom makeover at all this week. We are heading up north again to pick up a mirror and towel holder I found last week for the bathroom. After we get those up it's just a bunch of touch ups, artwork, new towels, and a shower curtain DIY!!  Soon I hope to show it to you all!

And that's a five!!


How Ellie Sleeps

I wrote a guest post for A+Life a couple weeks ago and wanted to share it with all of my readers in case you didn't have a chance to check it out.

Hi there A+ readers!! My name is Ashley and I blog over at Life on the Parsons Farm!  I am so excited to be guest posting on Courtney's blog today!!

Courtney and I "met" when I wrote a guest post for Erinn's On Wednesday We Wear Pink series. And we have been emailing back and forth ever since.  Courtney is a true inspiration to me and I just adore her love for Jesus, how she is raising her daughter, and her willingness to share some of the hardest struggles she has gone through (and Chick-Fil-a)

A little bit about me:
1. I was born and raised in Washington State and haven't really moved that much (unless you count dorm rooms in college?)
2. I live on a mini-farm with my husband of 5 years
3. My husband, Thomas, and I met in college and were on the cheerleading team together in college (after MUCH convincing on my part!)
4. After years of infertility and much disappointment and losses of pregnancies we adopted the most beautiful little girl, Ellie, last May and she is the light of our lives.
5. I love blogging.  It has been a wonderful outlet for me to document our life and share my heart. I also love the encouraging community that goes along with blogging.
6. I am a High School health and science teacher.  I so enjoy my job and working with students to grow their minds and to help them learn how to take care of their bodies; physically, emotionally and spiritually.  I work at a Christian School and am allowed to share about Jesus and the love that God has for us!
7. I am a follower of Christ.  He is my Savior and without Him nothing would have meaning.

Onto my post!

Since we brought home our daughter, my life has revolved around her.  It was so important to me that I created a bond with Ellie from the beginning.  You know since I didn't carry her around in my belly for 9 months - I had a lot of "making up" to do!  I just wanted her to be near me at all times. 

That started in the hospital.  We were lucky enough to have our own room and to have Ellie "room in" with us.  I think I really only put her down to change her diapers or when the doctors/nurses needed to check her out (or if my Thomas wanted to hold her).  So those nights in the hospital Ellie slept in the bed with me, I couldn't imagine that sweet little girl sleeping in that cold bassinet in the hospital room.  We never really discussed what our "sleeping arrangement" would be for when we got home.  I just decided that she would be sleeping in our bed for a couple of weeks and then we would move her into the bassinet in our room.

As you may or may not know, things don't really go as you have "planned" when you are raising children.

So with that in mind Ellie slept in our bed until she was nearly 3 months old and then was in her bassinet in our room until 7 months.   While that might sound crazy to some it was what worked for us.  We moved her into her crib in her own room shortly after Christmas.  She did very well.  Mind you she was swaddled this whole time. 

Just a couple of weeks ago, right before she turned 10 months old she rolled over onto her stomach.  I had made the decision that when she does that she will no longer be swaddled. So that was it.  We knew the first few nights would be a transition for her (and us) so we moved her back into our bed so help calm her when she smacked herself in the face with her "new found arms".  After a few nights she seemed to be sleeping well so we moved her back into her crib in her room. 

 I have to confess, I don't like her in there - especially now that she can roll over.  Her preferred way of sleeping is flat on her face.  Freaks me out to NO END. I spend most of the night watching her in the monitor or peeping into her room.  In addition, I miss her.  I love her sleeping on my lap in the living room or cuddled up next to me in bed.  I would say it has been a more difficult transition for me than it has been for her. (the great thing is, Thomas likes her near him as well!!) 

What does this mean? Well, she ends up in our bed around 5am until I get up at 6:30.  Sometimes I bring her in and sometimes Thomas does.  We bring her in even if she isn't "awake" or fussing. Mainly because we want to be with her.

Is this the best thing for her? I don't know. But what I do know is that as a parent you get to "do what you want" with in reason.  We are doing what works for us right now.  I have no intention of her being in our bed when she is 5 (at least on a daily/regular basis) but on the rare occasion I would love for her to be in there.  

I also can't tell you if we will be the same for our next baby. Maybe, probably not.  But you never know!!

What was your sleep transition like with your little ones?

♥ Ashley 

Thank you so much Courtney for letting me guest post today!! 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Live and Learn: Sharing Infertility

Ok so here is the deal: when we first found out that we were struggling with infertility it wasn't a subject I really wanted to talk about.  I am constantly reminded about this disease every day, all the time.  It was really challenging to keep it all in but I just didn't feel comfortable talking about it.  After reading through some of my favorite blogs and how the writers were sharing their story it got me thinking...maybe it would help to get it out there.  What I learned was that by putting it out there and sharing with all of you, it has actually helped with my healing process, I have been able to meet many more women who are also diagnosed with this disease, and I we are able to confide and comfort each other.

It was really hard for me to start talking openly about our struggles with infertility and then the loss(es) of our child(ren).  Yep you read that right.  I have been pregnant a total of 4 times and lost each one of those children within the first trimester.  But let me tell you it has gotten a little easier.  I am better equipped to wrap my brain about our struggles and losses and by sharing this with you it helps me to "release" it.

Infertility is a constant battle.  Some people learn early on of their inability to carry/have children while others it takes years.  Some are given a "reason" for why they cannot have children while others are left on the "unexplained" bus.  Not only that but some people (men and women) can experience what is called Secondary Infertility.  That means that at some point after having their first (or second) child something happened within their body that is causing them to be unable to conceive again.

While so many of us who are dealing with this disease do so silently, we are constantly reminded of how our bodies are failing to work for us.  There are ebbs and flows that happen.  Depending on how strong our desire is to have children we can be totally consumed by this disease and are always thinking about it.  For me; every time I go on Facebook or Instagram or even read a blog and someone is announcing a pregnancy: it stings.  When I see pregnant women at work, in the grocery store, or at church: it burns.  When my period starts: I cry - not because of my hormones but because it was another failed cycle (I have had over 50 failed cycles) and I am not pregnant.

I don't think that I am the only one who feels this way but what I do know is I don't share it verbally.  It is so much easier for me to gather my thoughts on paper on blog posts than it is to talk face to face with someone.

Where I stand right now with my infertility is this: I have had four miscarriages, two of which were ectopic.  That puts me at about a 60% chance of having another ectopic pregnancy.  Since we are unaware of what sort of damage my right fallopian tube has gone through with both ectopic pregnancies an HSG scan would be the next logical step.  That is about an $1,100 procedure that is NOT covered by insurance at all.  From there we could go back onto fertility drugs either do ultrasounds for follicle studies with a shot of HCG to stimulate ovulation and an IUI or just go the natural route.

However, my doctor does suggest that I have one if not both of my fallopian tubes removed.  That would mean that the only way I could conceive a child would be through IVF.  At this point I don't think that God is calling us to do IVF nor am I fully comfortable with the idea of removing all possibilities of getting pregnant naturally.

So that is where we are at this time.  Prayers please that we can add another little to our family soon!!

♥ Ashley
images via

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 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