Friday, January 30, 2015

Confessions of a Farm Mama

It's been a while since I've done one of these. 

• I have never watched a super bowl and don't plan on watching today. I will be painting and busying myself in the kitchen. But I'll be rooting for my home team and hope the Seahawks win. 

• Thomas and I are unsure of the actual date of our first date. So we are going with February 19. 

• I let Ellie walk around the living room with snacks. 

• I'm actually afraid of getting pregnant because I know I will be considered a "high risk" pregnancy due to my two ectopic pregnancies. 

• I laugh at people when they fall down, even my daughter. Like last night the dog was running for a ball we threw and knocked Ellie over, I laughed. 

• As the owner of a horse I shovel/scoop a lot if sh!t. 

• I don't like getting dirty and am probably one of the cleanest poop scooper, gardeners out there. 

• I don't like the feeling of raw meat.  

• I could never eat one of my chickens. 

• As a former PE teacher I know a lot about sports and the game rules but I'm not really interested in watching any type of sport - except maybe competition cheerleading. 

♥ Ashley 

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Crayons, Yogurt, and a closet clean-out

Another Friday??? Wow these weeks are going so fast.  Let's not waste anytime and get right to it!!


I started a GoFundMe page to help raise money for our next adoption. You can read about our story and donate if you feel compelled. Any little bit we can raise will help so much. Having a sibling for Ellie is so important to us and adopting her was such a blessing that we want to do it again.  I know that Ellie is going to be a great big sister because she loves the baby (now 6months old) I nanny and is always concerned about the babies we watch at church. She doesn't seem to get jealous of me holding and feeding and is pretty patient waiting for me to help her. I know that having a second babe is a game changer but since I watch 3-4 children everyday I'm confident I am handle it!


Speaking of raising money for our next adoption, I'm cleaning out our closets and selling items on IG @adoptioncloset but if you're interested you can buy through the blog!! Old Navy blue sweater size small $15 includes shipping EUC. Kenzie brown swim suit cover up size 2 $20 includes shipping NWOT. Express short sleeve grey sweater size XS $10 includes shipping GUC. Victoria's Secret satin bathrobe size S $25 includes shipping NWOT.  J Brand Jeans Scarlett cigarette size 24 $125 worn twice.  Some items of Ellie's will be added this weekend. 

Ellie is all about "coars" these days. She asks everyday to color and points to where we keep the crayons. Right now they aren't much more than scribbles but she just loves this activity. Some of my favorite pieces she's made. 


This face is what I get when I tell her to smile for the picture. 


And frozen gogurt is the breakfast item of choice in our house lately. I like it because it's not as messy as regular yogurt and Ellie likes it because it feels good on her teeth she has coming in. So far she has 16 and I think those 2nd molars are starting to make an appearance. 

♥ Ashley

Linking up here today. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

These Moments

It's these moments that I want to remember and that I need to focus on as I am working towards being content in my life. 

A couple weeks ago Ellie picked out a tutu to wear to work. So I paired it up with one of my favorite leggings and the sweetest sweatshirt. Since girlfriend was stylin' I thought a photo shoot was in order. 

There are so many things I love be about this picture. Mainly I love how she is on her toes (my little dancer in the making). But that smile. 

After our 31 day challenge in October Ellie has been really good about "posing" for pictures. I can point or tap a wall and tell her to stand so I can take her picture. Unfortunately she gets so excited to see herself on my phone that more pictures than not are blurry!!

It was a beautiful day and all she wanted to do was run and play in the sun. 

After our photo shoot we had to pick up one of my nanny kids at school and then since we are basically addicted we made a stop by good ol' Starbucks and got ourselves some cake pops. 

Girlfriend loves herself some cake pop and got to eat a whole one by herself! Birthday cake is her only option since she isn't a fan of chocolate.... I'm working on it. 

Those eyelashes. 
That nose. 

Blessed beyond measure. I wouldn't trade my job for anything. I love spending time with my girl all day and being able to share these moments with her. 

♥ Ashley

Click here to see where I'm linking up. 

The Word

Well I have been doing a lot of thinking lately. I have noticed that many bloggers are focusing on a word for the year. I have been going back and forth with what word I wanted to align myself with. I was debating between present and gratefulness, but this weekend it hit me: content. 

I need to be content in my life, where it is right now. I have always found myself looking into the future and living towards that: moving to a new house, getting pregnant (and it actually sticking), adopting a sibling for Ellie, or other improvements I think will fill the void I feel from our 4 miscarriages, not being able to get pregnant, not being able to give Ellie a sibling. 

The thing is, I need to be content where I'm at. While our current home is not my dream house or our forever home, I do enjoy it and need to just stop and be happy that we have a house that has room for Ellie to play, property for our animals and that our house is small enough to be manageable. There really is nothing wrong with our house and I need to be content. 

The fact of the matter is - I need to accept that maybe pregnancy isn't going to be an option for me and I need to be content in the way that God has planned for how our family will grow. As an infertile I focus so much time and energy on what day of the month it is, could this be an early pregnancy symptom, maybe it's just spotting...and the list goes on. After 5 years it really is taking its toll on me. I need to stop and be content in our family of three and be okay that Ellie and her future sibling aren't going to be as close in age as I had always hoped. Be content and focus on the babe I have in my life. A sibling will come when the time is right. 

So there it is. Contentment. I am focusing on being content with where my life is now and to be happy with it. 

♥ Ashley 

Click here to see where I'm linking up. 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Sunshine, Family and Tissues

We seriously had the most beautiful weekend in January. On Sunday it was in the 60's and we were having so much fun (and super busy that I failed at taking even a single picture!!)

Ellie has been getting a lot of FaceTime with Nanny, since Nanny has been sick at home practically all week with Influenza A. Thankfully it seems like we are all in the clear from that sickness but Ellie has had a low grade fever and is super congested. It doesn't seem to be bothering her as she is running and jumping and playing and climbing all over. I'm so glad that she has such a tough personality!

Completely unrelated but she loves her rubber duckies. 

Saturday morning we sat and had some coffee time in the morning and then I wanted to finish painting the walls in our bathroom. I am happy to say that I am almost all done with painting in there!! All I have left to do are the baseboards and linen closet door. This project is going to take just a little longer than planned as I have decided that I actually want to do a little more. I'm thinking of getting new mirrors, we need two since we have a double vanity, and our floor really needs to be replaced. Have no fear friends I will share it all when it gets done.

Also on Saturday I went to see one of my girlfriends and say in her chair for about an hour and got my hairs did! I absolutely love it and am so happy to get my grey hairs covered. I've had those blasted things since I was 17, ha!  We had a great time chatting and catching up. I'm so happy that she moved to a closer salon location so I can see her more often! Before she was about 75 minutes away - now she is 20!!!

We don't see my dad all that often but had the opportunity to visit with him all day yesterday. We started out at his church, then went out for Dim Sum (if you haven't been before you need to go!), then we took a trip to visit my moms grave site and Ellie bent down to kiss her headstone (all by herself!), and back to his house to help him with some yard work. Ellie had fun playing with his big wooden train set and watching some Disney Jr (a first since we usually only watch PBS kids). One of my favorite parts of the day was when we were at the cemetery Ellie was walking around and my dad called to her and she went running to him the first time! Our past few visits she has been a little hesitant, so it warmed my heart how willing she was to run to him.

So that was our weekend. Our big plans for today are for the Vet to come out and give our horses a check up and PTL the weather is supposed to be in the 60's again!! Standing out in the rain with a horse is not my favorite. 

Hope y'all had the best weekend!!!

♥ Ashley

Click here to see where I'm linking up today. 

Friday, January 23, 2015

Friday Friday

Friday again? Wow!!  My day's have been pretty long as Ellie hasn't been the greatest sleeper this week.  Naps are going strong and she is not objecting to bedtime (7:30-8) but has been waking up around 11:30 inconsolable, so we have been bringing her into our bed...which really isn't anything new.  I am hoping that pretty soon here we will get her to sleep the whole night all by herself in her crib on a regular basis.  If not, then what is really to be expected from raising her with attachment parenting and co-sleeping???!!!!

On to this weeks FIVE!!


Adoption is on my mind (actually since we brought Ellie home its always been on my mind), but it is expensive.  I have been wracking my brain on different ways to fundraise for our next adoption, which we hope to start this process this spring. I have decided to start cleaning out my closet (I am a hoarder) and thought I would open up an IG account to sell our stuff to raise money for our next babe!!  you can follow my new account: @adoptioncloset I will be posting a variety of items from my closet, Thomas closet and Ellie's!! All payments will be done via paypal and shipping is included in every price.  All of the proceeds from my sales will go into our Adoption Account.  Thank you so much for supporting our family and its growth!!


We had the awesome opportunity to go on a road trip through Scotland and Ireland this past summer thanks to my incredibly generous dad!  I was going to post a short series here on the blog showcasing our trip but somehow our pictures got lost!!! Luckily a couple weeks ago we were able to locate them all and I had a coupon code for a free book at Shutterfly, so I uploaded all of our Scotland pictures and made a book about our trip! We just got it in the mail yesterday and I just love how it turned out!  I also ordered the photobook through Ebates and got cashback on the shipping!! If that's not a win I don't know what it! if you click on the links and use my referrals to sign up we both get a bonus!!


I got this email earlier this week and please let me tell you how happy I am!! Thank you so much Leslie for signing up for Stitch Fix!! You are going to love it.  My next fix comes in a few weeks and I cannot wait to see what my stylist picks out for me!  If you haven't heard of Stitch Fix before, basically you sign up and fill out a profile questionaire, then a stylist is selected for you and they pick 5 items they think you will love and send them to you to try on.  If you like all five items you get a 25% discount off the whole order or if you choose to send everything back they just charge you a $20 styling fee.  It is so much fun because they are able to get items from stores you probably don't shop in so they can really get you to try on some different things!  You can see my First Fix here and if you are interested in signing up click here and use my referral!!


For Toddler Tuesday this week, I shared how we have started giving Ellie chores around the farm.  We have started small with feeding the dogs but as she gets older we will start adding more.  So far she loves to do her chores and it has really improved her relationship with our pups!  If you are interested in guest posting for this series I would LOVE to have you!! just send me an email or leave a comment (make sure your email is attached to your profile - Thank you Beth for the great tutorial!) and I will get you on the calendar!!


We are headed to Disneyland in about a month and are so excited for Ellie to experience it! I know that she probably won't remember this first trip but she is going to have so much fun that it doesn't even matter.  I have been watching the news and know about the measles outbreak but I spoke with our doc and he doesn't seem to be too concerned with it since Ellie has already been vaccinated.  It is so important to vaccinate your children (and yourselves).  There has been no direct link with vaccinations and autism, as well as I have recently learned that some individuals are unable to get vaccinated due to an allergy or medical condition and by us not vaccinating our children we are reducing the "vaccinated herd" that enables these individuals to be able to go to concerts, Disneyland or movies.  PSA over!!

♥ Ashley

click here to see where I am linking up today!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

{monthdate} 20 months!!

I can't believe that my sweet babe is already 20 months!! I have no idea how that happened. But I am love every minute I have with this sweet sweet girl!

Seriously I feel like this is the best month yet. Ellie's little personality is really starting to shine and I can tell that she is going to be a compassionate little girl. 

So here are some of tr high points of life with Ellie this month:

• Vocabulary is blossoming and is picking up new words daily (though many of them sound the same). Some new ones are okay, bus, cockas (socks), bux (blocks), coors (colors aka crayons), taka taka (thank you) pees (please) pahyee (potty), nigh nigh (nite nite), cockacocka (for a clock/alarm going off), and bye. One of my favorite things is that after I tell her to do something (or not do something) she always responds with okay.  She is also picking up names and calls herself baby. 

• Ellie is quite the little social butterfly - which probably has something to do with her coming to work with me everyday.  She goes up to other kids and says hi (when prompted), says and waves bye and blows kisses. She is doing well with sharing and will give a toy back when I tell her she needs to share. Se gets concerned when babies cry and loves to gently pat them on the back and blow a kiss to help them feel better. We have a couple infants at church that she especially loves to help cheer up. I am so happy that she is getting all this social interaction because I really am not sure if or when she will get a sibling.  One of my biggest fears of her being an only child is that she could be selfish, not good with sharing with others. So far this doesn't seem to be an issue. #praisethelord

• As far as her eating habits it's kind of hit or miss. Some days she eats a lot and other days not so much. Wednesday and Friday we tend to have the same lunch week after week (thanks to a toddler who requests the same thing every day I watch him!!) Mac'n'cheese, fruit (Apple/grapes/blueberries), cheese, crackers, and just recently hot dogs have been added in for some protein.  Ellie loves her Cheerios in the morning and sharing my yogurt with me. Using utensils is a work in process but she mostly just likes to hold the fork in one hand while eating with her other hand. One of the funniest things she does is she signs "milk" every time she wants to drink it (even when it's in her hand) and waits until I nod my head or say okay. Not sure where that came from but it's hilarious. I am slowly trying to teach her how to drink out of a cup and she thinks it's pretty fun. So far I only allow water since she prefers to take a sip and then spit it all out down her front!

She's all about the veggies

• Girlfriend is climbing on anything and everything. She likes her anywhere chair okay but prefers to sit in big people chairs or couches. Her time in the high chair is limited since she got her table and chairs for Christmas. She usual gets breakfast in it but the. Most other meals at home are at the small table (which means that Thomas and I have to get low!). I only really let Ellie watch PBS kids and Daniel Tiger is her favorite. She will say "Dan Dan" and point to the tv. The other two shows I let her watch are Clifford and Arthur. Though I'm going to have to let her watch a few Disney Jr. shows since we are heading to Disneyland next month. 

• There are so many other things that Ellie is saying and doing that it's constantly something new every day it's hard to keep up!  She makes the funniest face when I tell her to smile for a picture. She can point to her eyes (aye), nose, hair, ears and belly button (and lift your shirt to search for yours too!) She also know where her toes are and is all about the shoes and socks.  She has also started to have an opinion on what she wears and is into shaking her head no when she doesn't want to do something or doesn't want what we are offering her. She loves to laugh and giggle and has the best comedic timing. She kind of understands the concept of hugs...when I tell her to give her friend a hug she will walk over to them and lean her head towards them - no arms, so we are working on it. 

Playing with my scarf
Thr outfit she picked out for herself - pattern on pattern!!
Ballerina in the making

• It's not all fun and games on the farm. Ellie has her fair share of "tantrums" and will throw herself down on the floor when we tell her no or that she has to wait for something. Thankfully they are quick lived and she is over it in 10 seconds and this has only happened at home. She does cry out about similar things and we just tell her that she needs to stop and that is not proper behavior, she responds with an okay. Sometimes she will cry for no reason and when we ask why she just mumbles a bunch of syllables. Also when we tell her no she will sometimes scream out. She also "hits" us sometimes and when we tell her "hey! We do not hit!" She will then give us a kiss - doesn't make up for the bad behavior but I do love her kisses!

My dear sweet Ellie Faith you light up my world and I love hearing your laugh, when you say mama after you wake up from your nap and I come in to get you, how you run down the hall to see daddy, and how much you love the puppies. I am loving this stage so much and am experiencing what parenthood is all about and I love it!!

♥ Ashley

Click here to see all of Ellie's monthdates. 

To see where I'm linking up click here

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Toddler Tuesday - chores

Thank you for all your kind comments on last weeks post!

Life on the Parsons Farm

Today I wanted to share about incorporating chores into your toddler's routine. As I mentioned last week, I believe that I am raising an adult not a toddler, so I want to teach Ellie as many life skills as I can. I think that your child is never too young to learn responsibility or to take up chores. 

We live on a farm with many animals (goats, chickens, horses, and dogs) and I want Ellie to learn the responsibility of taking care of animals. A couple months ago (around 16 months old) we started having Ellie do her "chore" which is feeding the dogs their food. They get fed twice a day and we aim to have Ellie try and do her chore at least once a day. 

Of course this chore is actually more work for us at the moment but she has started to get the hang of it and is becoming more independent with it!

When we first started out, I would scoop the food into the cups and bring it to their food bowls and then hand it to Ellie to dump (she made it into the bowl about 50% of the time) then I would take to cups back and put them away. 

Now, we ask (tell her actually) if she is ready to do her chores, to which she replies with an enthusiastic yes head nod.  I grab the food scoop cups, fill them up and then hand one to Ellie. She walks down the hallway with it. 

And into the bathroom where we keep  Sakari's food bowl and dumps the food in. 

The I switch her cups and she goes into the kitchen and dumps into Cooper's food bowl. 

Once the feeding is done, I tell her to put the cups back  she stands up and walks over to the pantry/cupboard and puts the cups on the shelf. 

And then closes the door. 

I always praise her and tell her great job and thank you for doing her chores. Usually we exchange a high five

While I have to do a lot of coaching, reminding and guiding during this chore exercise, Ellie totally understands the concept and it has greatly improved her relationship with our puppies. As she grows and gets the routine down better, I'm sure this is one thing she will be able to do by herself. 

Have you incorporated chores into your little ones routine?

♥ Ashley

Click here to see where I'm linking up today!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Weekending Enjoyment

It's Monday but it's still the weekend! Thank you Dr. King. 

Friday night we met my Inlaws for dinner and then I had to rush to our church to work in the childcare. I spent 2 hours being thoroughly entertained by an almost 3 year old and I cannot wait for Ellie to start talking!!

Saturday was pouring down rain the whole day. We ran out for a couple quick errands (picking up some paint) in the morning and then I got to work painting the cabinets in our bathroom while Ellie took a 3 hour nap! After she got up I ran to the store to pick up a few things dinner. Oh my word was it a yummy dinner: chicken with a tarragon cream sauce and spinach farro salad with goat cheese. I will share the recipes on here soon. 

Sunday we had a nice morning with coffee and "Dan Dan" (Daniel Tiger) on the tv while Ellie was just the the sweetest little girl. We spent Ellie's nap time cleaning and prepping the house for our first monthly family dinner!! I made cheeseburger soup, pretzels, and cheddar biscuits with a nice green salad. Oh my word was it so fun to have everyone over! Ellie had the best time playing with her cousins (I don't think she has ever played with all her toys souch!) and boy did she get winded running around with them. I feel so blessed that we live so close to family to make get togethers like this a reality.  

Today still seems like a Sunday. I am working on more painting in our bathroom and resting/enjoying time with my sweet little family!

♥ Ashley

To see where I'm linking up click here

Friday, January 16, 2015

Fabulous Friday

I cannot believe that we are already to Friday again! I swear that it was just Friday a couple days ago.  Don't get me wrong I am so looking forward to the 3 day weekend ahead!

Messy Hair don't care!!


Life on the Parsons Farm

First of all I wanted to thank everyone for all the kind words and support from my last post.  It really was one of the first times I have really put myself out there and I am just so grateful for all the positive vibes you sent my way!!  It truly was a great encouragement!! 

T W O 

I am painting this weekend!!  Our Master Bath is in need of a major makeover - but one that doesn't break the bank!  Originally I was just planning on painting the cabinets and trim but the more I thought about it - if I'm already painting I might as well do the walls too.  I am hoping for our bathroom to have a nice clean and fresh look so I am going Shades of Gray! Why is gray the hardest colors to pick out (aside from white)?  After lots of research, paint swatches, and deliberation I finally chose two shades of gray.  Hopefully I can really get my rear in gear and get all the painting done!! Then we just have to pick our flooring and accessories.

Paint Color SW 7650 Ellie Gray from Sherwin-Williams  our living room, foyer and hallways
Ellie Gray - Sherwin Williams (cabinets)
Paint Color Light French Gray 0055 - Interior from Sherwin-Williams
Light French Gray - Sherwin Williams (walls)

T H R E E 

Woodland Fairy Tea Party

Last week I shared a photo of a cake that is serving as inspiration for "Ellie's Enchanted Birthday" in May.  I have been perusing Pinterest like its my job.  You can see all of her party inspiration on the board I made here.  Of course I probably won't execute it as well as most of these pictures but I am so excited for it.  I know that I have quite a few things from her 1st birthday that I can re-use and know that I will be able to use these decorations again someday!


As I mentioned above we have a 3 day weekend ahead all because of Martin Luther King Jr. He was the chief spokesman for the nonviolent activism for Civil Rights protesting racism in state and federal law.  I am so inspired by his leadership and incredibly grateful for his success.  While the world (and our country) may not be perfect, he definitely helped us take a step in the right direction and I am so glad that I do not live in the Pre-Civil Rights era.

F I V E 

Valentines Day is coming up.  So I will leave you with a few of these:

Spongebob Pick Up Lines | Funny Valentine: 10 of Best Pickup Lines, Memes (The Must-Share 'Talk ...

Valentine's Day... It's a Trap!  I saw the original of this meme and immediately thought of Big Bang Theory and so looked for a Sheldon Cooper version but couldn’t find one. So I took a minute to make my own.

i like your face Valentine's Day CArd

♥ Ashley

click here to see where I am linking up today!