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A Tired Moms Guide To Self Care

HAPPY NEW YEAR!! I hope 2018 has started off great for everyone!

The one thing I am going to work on for me this year, aside from the eternal struggle of Potty training, is taking care of myself. I find that is the one thing us moms have a hard time with, self care. We need to feel the best version of yourself in order to keep your sanity and be the best mom and significant other we can be! I have made a small list of ways we can treat ourselves, without rushing it at night, and incorporate the small children that are around us 24/7, that we love, but sometimes wish would play safely in another room. SO! Here we are:

The Tired Mom's Guide to Self-Care

  1. Lavender Air Fresheners
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    I have these in almost every room, except the bathroom because that has its own stronger smelling on. They are a light pleasant smell , and  is known as a calming and relaxing herb and has frequently been used for insomnia, anxiety, depression, and natural stress relief. One recent study discovered that  the scent of lavender increases the time you spend in deep (slow wave) sleep, though the effects were stronger for women than for men. So, surrounding yourself with that scent will help you throughout the day…. In theory anyways, I still live in a toddler type zoo, but it smells nice
  2. Monster Time
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    I have two or three different masks that I use throughout the month, well I should say that I try and use throughout the month. But when you have two toddlers ripping and running around all day, a house to clean, food to cook, and dishes to do makes life a bit busy. Not to mention school and school related activities, so what can we do, to make sure we take care of our skin and manage children who want to play? Throw on a mask and play monster from the lagoon, or sand pit, or in my case zombie! My son loves it, he passes me one of light sabers and I am an alien Jedi and he is going to fight me, and my daughter just sits and laughs, some times joins in and wants to be chased by the tickle monster. I sometimes do it while the kids are in the bath tub, and I am the sea creature off to get them with shampoo and soap.
  3. Cup Of Tea
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    Sometimes all you need is to sit down and enjoy a cup of tea, to sit back and relax and not worry about the mountain of laundry for 20 minutes, or the dishes, or the trash in the bin that you are sure is going to attract wildlife at some point. So, make a nice cup of caffeine free tea, cool of a cup or two (depending on the brood you have) and show them how to enjoy a quiet cup of tea just like mommy, or have a tea party with real tea, its a nice memory and also can be semi relaxing for you.
  4. Book Time
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    I have always tried to read with my kids, their books, my books heck even a magazine or seven in a waiting room someplace. So, to make sure I can have some time to read a book, or my kids need to wind down from something I grab a book and read it. It can be kid friendly or, not so kid friendly depending on how brave you are and how much you know your child will repeat. For my 3 year old I find it relaxing having him on my lap for some quiet and bust out the Harry Potter chapter books and he will sit there and listen, enjoy and even point out certain words or letters that he knows. With my daughter I read what I am reading and he loves it, I think she likes to just hear me talk to her and try and talk like a man, as I am reading Outlander currently and she enjoys sitting with me so I can find some time to enjoy my book and relax and include her in that as well.
  5. DIY Exfoliate Scrubs
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    My son likes to help me with anything and everything in the kitchen, and when i found a few recipes for Do It Yourself face scrubs that we easy to do, non toxic and kid safe I figured why not get him to help me. He loved to mix things with the spoon and help me dish it out into containers. He even uses a special coffee Vanilla one ( 3 Table Spoons Coffee Grounds, 1 Tablespoon of Brown Sugar, 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla and as much Coconut oil to make it into a paste) he likes washing his hands and his belly in the tub with it. So why not make a special spa treatment you can share with your little ones?
  6. Music Playlist
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    We all, as parents, are always listening to what our kids want, because it makes them happy. They saying is ‘Happy Wife, Happy Life’, but us moms know the truth. If the kids are happy, we are happy and husbands don’t get snapped at for leaving the toilet seat up…. Again. So, what works for me, is i have a Spotify playlist that has a mixture of my kids song that I can stand as well as some of my favorite songs, and we sing and dance and sometimes I will just sit with them and let them look at my phone, or read a book with them while the music, instead of a TV, is on in the background. Our Favorite Right Now Is “The Unicorn” By The Irish Rovers, and “The Narwhal” Also By Them.

    Well, these are some tips that I have been using to make myself sane during the day, and honestly I feel happier and a better person for my kids, sharing certain things with them, and they are happy because they are still the center of my world and enjoying things.

    Please let me know if you have any relaxing tips that you use with your kids as well. Thanks so much for reading!

    -Ashton <3

What Is Happening?

Well, I will tell you what is happening, this summer and my sons special needs came into the front line and they took the lead. I need to focus on my kids, I am a part time single mom. My husband is home 1 week a month, and I am alone to make sure my son is getting the attention he needs to get ready for school, then I also need to make sure my daughter isn’t being left behind either and all her needs are being met, and she is getting all the love she needs and wants. And cook, clean, get groceries and try not to lose my sanity. 
The Mommy Book Club is suspended for the time being due tonthe fact I dont have time. My, me alone mommy time is a shower before I pass out in bed for my mandated 4 hours of sleep. 

My kids have also felt the need for naps or sleep in general are fornthe weak and are no longer needed. As well as fighting EVERY meal I make for them. 

I am currently trying to put them down for an afternoon nap, my daughter is laughing and squealing in bed, while my son kicks his door shouting that he is knocking….. I have cheerioes from one end of my house to the other, as well as toys. I have found all missing sippy cups shoved in my couch, chair and clean laundry baskets. 

My husband was just home which means that there is about 4x more tjings to do, and I love my son byt his branf of helping…. Isn’t what I need right now. 
So that is what has been happening, I will try to get back on a rhythm of posting, as well as finish moving old posts over to here. Please be patient, we are all parents and family people, and my kids come first right now.
I love you all for being patient, thanks so much. 
Please stalk me on social media:

Twitter: @Ourpreemie

Instagram: @Ourpreemie

Facebook: Our Preemie Family

Or email me ashton@ourpreemiefamily.ca
Thank you for reading, I am off to find a wuby….. 

Lots of love and Pretty Things

Ashton <3

Welcome

Welcome To Our Preemie Family 2.0!

Here we are, starting over Fresh, what a vast place of possibility!

The grownups have left me unattended with a computer, internet access and a blog! Mwahaha! I cannot wait to see what trouble I can cause here.

Well, we all know, well if you followed my last blog, I am far to lazy and busy to cause to much trouble, but the kids on the other hand, you will be here in the front seat watching what goes on in the troubled and turbulent life of my kids, and how life is unfair because mommy’s favorite word is NO!

I will have a few posts up very soon, some new and some from my old blog that I would like to move over!

Thank you for reading, Please follow me on any and all Social Media I have!

Love, Happiness and Other Pretty Things

Ashton <3

Fed Is Best

I have always tried to stay away from controversial topics such as Breast Feeding vs. Formula feedings. So this post is 100% completely my opinion and my experience. If you want to exclusively breast feed, good for you! Rock it out! I will be the mom giving you a smile and thumbs up in the restaurant or museum. If you are strictly formula, rock that out mama! You are doing what you need to for you baby, and thats being the very best mama you can be, you will also get a smile and thumbs up from me!

My son was 16 weeks early, my milk had most definantly not dropped and I had to work so very hard to get it in and saved every drop for my son. He was on donor brest milk for 4 days before I made enough to feed him. I pumped like clockwork, every 3 hours, tracked every ounce, my spot in our fridge was full before we went to the hospital daily. For 3 months I did this and I was excited soon I would try to breast feed!

Then my supply started to drop out of no where, and I drank the teas, ate the cookies, had more people touch my boobs in a day than I would like to admit. I even took the medicines, but it just dropped off, I was crushed I went from getting a full 50ML to 75ML per boob, per pump to maybe 20ML from both in a matter of 2 weeks. I was heart broken, but no one shamed me for it, they told me I did great, gave my little preemie the best fighting chance he needed by giving him what I did for 3 months. And, I had enough in the freezer to last a while longer, I felt ok when it came to take the feeding tube out and try actual feedings it was a bottle and not the breast, and by the time he was home he was on straight formula. He stayed on formula until he was 12 months adjusted and was never a fussy eater.

Fast forward 2 years and I am in the hospital bed, snuggled up with my new born daughter trying to get her to latch, and I had to come up with some fun ways of that happening…. Sqeezing my boob, then the nipple, pushing it one way while she lay another way…

The 2 person technique, that one was strange with a nurse, and frustrating when trying to tell Hubby what to do…

Finally after 3 days of her getting next to nothing, I pumped next to nothing, less than 20 ML from both breasts, I asked the nurse to get me a small thing of formula, because she was hungry and I wanted to feed her so I could get more than an hour of sleep. She made me feel so bad!

“You have barely tried! You need to give it more time!” I am sorrybits been 3 days, I feed her for an hour to an hour and a half from each breast and she is starving less than 30 minutes later, I pumped and bottle fed her in the longer gaps and she still wasn’t getting enough. My child was hungry and I was gonna feed her!

I had to sign an “Against Medical Advice” form to get formula for my child… What the actual F!? It made me feel like I was going to be harming my child because I wanted her to feel full for a little bit! I was still pumping, still trying her on the boob, but if I knew she was still hungry I wanted to top her up! Why is to terrible to want to keep your child full and happy?

Once we got, home I still tried to breast feed, pump and formula, I again did the tea, cookies and pills, but it never surpassed 30 ML from both breasts. So after a long talk with my husband, and him telling me I needed to be there for our kids and me making myself sick over this, isn’t healthy for anyone involved. At my 6 week check up, my old school OB told me the exact same thing, he gave me a coupon for some formula to pick up on my way home, gave me a hug and told me I was doing great! I was feeling so much better about this.

As I sat in his waiting room for his nurse to bring out a form for some blood work and a prescription, my daughter started getting fussy so I pulled the bottle out and quickly made one and started feeding her, another mom, who was there with her whole entourage, looked over at me scoffed and rolled her eyes. I just smiled at her and went back about my business of feeding my daughter, and she said to her friend/cousin/sister, making no attempt to lower her voice, said “Breast is best, and anyone who does other than that is lazy and doing a disservice to their child.”

I just hung my head and talked low to my daughter, telling her I loved her and I tried very hard to do the best I could. There were several other moms and families in the waiting room but no one came to my aid, no one would say anything. Here I am 6 weeks post partom, high risk for depression, already feeling terrible about being able to breast feed, and this woman has the nerve to speak out of turn.

I was sad before, when it actually happened, then I became angry about it, now I just feel bad for her.

Breast is optimal, but Fed is the best for your baby.

Thank You for reading, please Like, Comment, and follow me on social media.

Love, Hearts, and Pretty Things

Ashton ❤

The Mommy Dilemma

What do you do first…. ?

Last night, you caught a case of the “fuck-its”, where you looked at that pile of laundry that needed to be folded and said, “Fuck it.”

The kids actually went down to bed at their proper bed time, no fighting at all! And you look around at the toys… Snack plates, sippy cups, bottles and a few stray Cheerios “hiding” under the TV stand… It’s only 8 pm, you have time to do all the cleaning, unload and load the dishwasher, fold the laundry… But just as you are getting out of the chair, you say “Fuck it!”

You find that home spa kit your husband bought you 2 years ago, you never got to open, bust out the bath salts, bubble bath the scented candles and pour that extra large glass of wine! As the tub is filling you look at YOUR book shelf, and grab a book you have been meaning to finish for the past 4 years. You put the baby monitor on the counter beside the bottle of wine, there is no sence in wasting that tonight, because god knows when this will happen again! 

Jusat as you put your hair in the bun, and start to strip….. The baby starts to whine.

What do you do? You know by the whine, she is not hungry, dirty or sick… You triple checked everything in her crib, before you started this, that there was nothing that would fall on her, or for her to cover her face with. BUT, you know that the whine will turn into a cry, only for 5 minutes max, but in that 5 minutes the cry will possibly wake the toddler… And he will be much more difficult to passify back to sleep.

What do you do? Because, after fighting with the toddler back to sleep, the bath will be cold and you might as well start on the nightly chores and turn in to bed, because after a nights sleep, it starts all over again the next day.

Or, do you continue with you awesome case of the “fuck-its” and leave it up to chance and crawl in that nice warm bath with bubbles and lavender and rose scents, while the picture of Fabio on the cover of your book calls to you. This is an impossible mommy dilemma. 

Each mom will answer differently…

Each mom is justified in her choice…

But you know what the ultimate solution is to this dilemma…

“Oh Honey!! The baby is crying for Daddy!” 

Thank you for reading, Please Like, Comment, and follow me on Social Media.

Love, Hearts, and Pretty Things

Ashton <3

MOTHERS DAY IN THE NICU

In my family when I was little I remember waking up and helping my mom make breakfast and helping to take care of my baby brother because my dad worked out of town and peek season always was the spring, summer and fall. Or in Canada we call it second winter, summer and winter test, so it was just the three of us, and that just proved how strong my mom is as a person. And I had always thought my mothers days would be similar, making breakfast with my kids or my husband surprising me with breakfast in bed with the kids, just something like the movies and what I did as a child.

I never had to be in the NICU for my first mothers day, but if I had, I would have treated as it was, My very first mothers day with my baby. I would have gone to get my nails and my toes done and then cuddled with my little baby. I wouldn’t expect my friends and family to walk on egg shells around me just because of our circumstances, I am still a mom now and want to enjoy my first mothers day with my family. So here are a few things you can do to help the mom in your life who is spending it in the NICU with their little miracle.

  1. GIVE HER FLOWERS. All moms get flowers on mothers day, and why should this be any different just because she is spending it in an unconventional way doesn’t me she should be treated in an unconventional way. Most NICUs will not allow flowers in the hospital itself so a surprise delivery in person at home would be the best option.
  2. OFFER TO HELP. I know most days you want to help but this would be the best day to help this mom out, offer to vacuum or clean her kitchen so she has one less thing to do at home and she can spent even more time at the hospital and enjoy her time with her little one on her first of many Mothers Day as a family.
  3. COOK/BUY HER DINNER. When I was in the NICU the last thing on my mind was cooking, I did it but one can survive on pizza and take out for so long. So offer to cook her dinner or take her out somewhere pretty for dinner so she has a reason to get all dressed up and enjoy a relaxing evening to focus on herself for a few hours.
  4. MAKE A PRETTY GIFT.  Depending on the situation in the NICU many mothers cannot even hold their babies, which makes for a very hard day to day life in the NICU let alone a mothers day. So a fun way to brighten their days is make something for their little home away from home feel like just that, a home. It could be a nice blanket to put on top of the isolette, it could be a small collage of pictures from her pregnancy and first few pictures of the little one(s). The options are endless.

I know there are so many things you can do for moms in the NICU but these are the ones I have seen and thought of. I did read an article on Huffington Post and got some ideas from there.

Thanks for reading, I will see you all next week.

 

Ashton Taylor