A Single Parent’s Guide: From Cradle to College

A Single Parent’s Guide: From Cradle to College

 A Guest Post By Daniel Sherwin

Parenting is never easy. And when you’re going it solo, you have one less set of hands to help out. But, with a few preemptive measures, you can make your single-parent home a safe haven for you and your kids no matter their ages.



The first two years of your child’s life has her at her most vulnerable. From illness to the inability to explain aches and pains, your baby is 100% reliant on you. Start by giving her a safe place to sleep. A current model crib with a firm mattress and fitted sheets is best. Avoid the temptation to wrap your baby in heavy blankets and instead opt for warm, well-fitted pajamas. Do not place a pillow in your child’s crib and invest in a baby monitor, which will let you complete chores around the house while keeping a watchful eye on your sleeping baby.


Redfin offers this advice regarding toxins, which are inviting to a curious crawler, especially when at eye level, “Chemicals and poisonous or toxic substances, such as toilet bowl and window cleaners, oven cleaners, bleach, paint thinner, dish soap, etc., should be kept in a locked cabinet, in a cabinet that is secured with a child-proof safety latch, or in a location that is elevated.”



As your little one graduates from crawling to walking, he has a whole new world of ways to get himself in trouble. Since you can’t have your eyes on your child 100% of the time, you can prevent falls by using child-proof gates on stairways and keeping climbable furniture away from the kitchen, where a hungry toddler might be tempted to reach for the cookie jar. also stresses keeping children out of the kitchen while you’re cooking and never leaving him unattended near an open source of water – no matter how small.


Car safety should also be a priority in the toddler years. And while you won’t likely have another adult to help calm crying child, it’s best to keep him rear-facing until at least his third birthday. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offers more information on car seats and booster seats.


Young children

At this stage, your child is really gaining a sense of identity and independence, which can lull you into a false sense of security where their safety is concerned. Kids from preschool age to late elementary should never be left home alone — even for just a few moments. Talk to your child’s school about before and after care and summer day-camp programs.


Teach your children about fire safety, and make an escape plan in case of emergency. If your child is active make sure he has a properly-fitted helmet for biking, skating, or skateboarding. Make sure he or she understands how to react to strangers and which people are safe should they become separated from you. Today’s segment about “Tricky People” is a great 5-minute read that could change the way you, and your kids, think about stranger danger.



Although they are growing ever more independent by the day, the 9-and-up crowd still need you to look out for their health and well-being. Today, one of the biggest issues facing adolescents is something we use every day and has changed the world for the better: the internet. This is the perfect time to stress online safety. Never allow your children to text, chat, befriend, or instant message someone they do not know in “real” life. This privacy and internet safety Q&A by Common Sense Media is a great place to start.


This is also an age where children learn to drive. Make sure they have plenty of practice, understand seatbelt laws, and never drive when tired. Also discuss with your child to dangers of peer pressure, sexual activity, and drugs and alcohol.


As a single parent, you pull double duty 24/7. However, you can still keep your children safe if you make safety your #1 priority. For more information on parenting from pregnancy through young adulthood, visit the Centers for Disease Control online at CDC.Gov.

Toilet Talk

Occupational TherapistToilet Talks, Notes, Tips and Tricks from an Occupational Therapist in a toilet training seminar. I hope that you find help in all of this, I took the seminar because I have been struggling to toilet train my almost 4 year old for closing in on 2 years, and my daughter is starting to approach the age to attempt to toilet train, so when the opportunity came up to attend this I jumped at it, and this is a combination of their notes, my notes and fun graphics that took me forever to make…. So please enjoy.


The Goals for the seminar were simple, to learn about readiness and pre-toileting skills, establishing a toileting routine, learning how to use visuals to assist with toileting, how to look at reward versus punishments, and how to deal with accidents and other issues. It is important that you start toilet training when you AND the child are ready. If started too early, toilet training can become a power struggle, and that power struggle will effect just how long the toilet training will take and how successful you will be in the long run. Some kids might be under

Four Stages Of Toilet Learningreactive to being wet or dirty while others may be over reactive to those same stimulus.

There are Four main stages of Toilet Learning, there is stage one, Toilet Play. This step can include pretending to use the toilet on their potty, mostly with their clothes on, they become very curious as to what others are doing in the bathroom and they show more interest in the toilet itself, maybe not for using but wanting to learn how that it works. Stage two is Toilet Practice, and this step shows the child wanting to practice certain skills that are needed in wanting to use the toilet. Like practicing flushing the toilet, pulling their pants up and down, getting on and off their potty or the big toilet, squatting down then standing back up again, practicing hand washing and asks for your to check if their diaper is wet or dry, or clean or dirty as they are becoming more aware of what is going on. Stage Three they are showing more interest in wearing “real” underwear and feels the need to urinate by showing gestures (also known as the peepee dance), is verbal and uses facial expressions. They are beginning to hold urine in longer, like when they are playing and really dont want to stop to go pee or feel wet while playing, as they also start to feel the need to be clean more than sitting in their mess longer than necessary. They now have words for using the toilet and tells you when they have to go. They can pull their pants up and down a little more freely, and stand and sits on the toilet or their potty with little to no help. They are also showing signs of pushing and concentrating when they are ready to poop, they are also letting you know more and more when they have ‘accidents’ or need their pull up changed. Stage Four is the final stage, as they are now doing independent toileting.

Tips and Tricks for

There are a few tips and tricks out there for Potty Training, many are ones that your parents used on you and your siblings, then there are the ones your grandparents tell you about, you also can look online for many more, these ones are from the occupational therapist as well as a few from the other moms that attended the seminar with me that have older children that they were able to toilet train with no help as they didn’t have the same delays or different issues that our children have now.

So the first thing you can do is establish a toilet language with your child, you can use the actual terms like Urine or Bowel movement or the old stand by peepee and poopoo. Then there also the terms that you want to use for their parts, we are still working on stage one in our house for toilet training so when I am changing my son he is in charge of wiping his ‘macker’ and that is what he calls his penis, and that works for us as well as he calls his bottom his “smelly butt”…. Let’s not start that story. You can also model the stages of going to the bathroom for your child, “Oh I feel like I need to pee, lets got the potty.” They can follow you into the bathroom and you can narrate the steps you are taking. “I am pulling down my pants and big kid underwear. Now I am sitting on the potty, and going pee.” Things along those lines, you can also have a steps on a “Rip Chart” or a check mark sheet your child can check off as you complete the steps now and later when they are completing the steps.

Rip Chart

Rip Chart, each tab is Velcro and can be ripped off as each step is completed

Another step you can try is changing their soiled pull ups in the bathroom so they can start to associate the bathroom with getting clean, you can even start putting the poop from the diaper in the toilet and have them flush it down. Also, dress your child in easy to manage clothing so that they can start practicing pulling their pants up and down. My son when he is in his sweats will do it while he watching TV, not even really for the need to go to that bathroom, just because he wants to, his sister who is only 1 and half is already trying to mimic him, he has cognitive delays while my daughter is right on par with her age, so I will be potty training them at the same time.

Check Chart

Check off each step as they are done.

Establishing some sort of toileting routine will also help you in the long run, you can have your child sit on the toilet or their potty at regular intervals for 1 to 3 minutes, like every 30 minutes or 60 minutes regularly or 20 to 30 minutes after eating and drinking.  Also have your child participate in as many tasks as possible when they are in the bathroom, you can also use a tracking system to determine if your child is already on a routine. If your child has a fairly regular schedule, be consistent in taking them to the bathroom during the times that your child is mostly likely to go. Place your child on the toilet or potty approximately 5 to 10 minutes before their predicted time to go. Try and schedule toilet trails less than 90 minutes apart, timers may assist with keeping everyone on track. A wind up egg timer that you can show your child how to set may help them feel like they are in control of this whole situation.

If your child does not have a regular schedule, your child’s potty habits may be linked to eating, sleeping or physical activity, determine the amount of time between these activities and elimination, you might notice a pattern, also you might want to increase the amount of liquid intake 10 to 20 minutes before a trial to increase success.

Praise your child for appropriate toileting

toilet TRAINING tipsto help motivate your child, praise EVERY step that they do successfully, regardless of how much assistance you provided. Verbal praise should be used whether or not you use a tangible reward, like small preferred food or sticker. Accidents happen, keep calm, avoid getting upset when an accident happens, but help your child clean up. Avoid punishing your child for accidents, accidents can help your child learn what it feels like to be wet and how their body works. Issues that arise, child is afraid of the toilet, your child seems to feel unstable on the toilet, your child wont sit still long enough to go and your child responds poorly to wearing underwear.

Diapers vs. Pull-Ups vs. Big Kid Underwear

-Diapers make potty training less messy, but they dont allow your child to get that necessary feeling of being wet or dirty.

-Pull-Ups also pull away moisture fairly quickly as well

-Underwear provides your child with feeling of wetness which is necessary for learning how to stay dry.

-Let your child pick out ‘real’ underwear. They may have a favorite character like Barbie, Dora, Spider-man, or anything along those lines.

Here are the top ten do’s and dont’s for potty and toilet training. I also have a few other little tips that were shared at the seminar:

  • Try and put the big kid underwear under a pull up, that way they can get some of the sensation of being wet and dirty while you have less of a mess to clean up.
  • Teach girls to wipe from front to back, because we know that the bacteria transferred from back to front can cause infections and problems in the long run.
  • Hand washing should always be included at the end of every child’s bathroom routine
  • When accidents occurs, never leave a child in wet or dirty clothing change the child’s clothing as quickly as possible, and have your child assist you where appropriate.

Here are a few lists of books for parents and children that you can also check out:

List Of Toilet Training Books

I hope this was informative and helped you figure out how you can and will start Toilet Training your little one. Leave me a comment if you have any other tips and trick that you used that were helpful that I didn’t include, or please let me know if you have used some of the ones I did include and they did work for you.

Thanks for Reading

-Ashton <3

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

    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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

Mommy Book Club 2018

Mommy Book Club Will Start Up Again On January 1st, 2018 and The Book We will be reading is Book One in the Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon.

Back Cover Synopsis:

The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second Honeymoon — when she innocently touches a boulder in one of the ancient stone circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach – an ‘outlander’ – in a Scotland torn by war and raiding boarder clans in the year of Our Lord… 1743.

Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life… and shatter her heart. For here James Fraser, a gallant young Scot warrior, shows her a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire… and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

I am giving everyone a heads up on this because it is a longer book and some of us… Mainly me… Will need longer than 30 days to read it. 

I hope you all join us in January on my Facebook Page Ashton Taylor – Our Preemie Family for a Facebook live or a discussion board on it. It all depends on how my kids do at bed time that night, lol. 

Thanks for your Time,

Ashton <3 

Where Have I Been

Well, my husband started a new job, we went on a small family vacation, starting a new hobby in hopes of creating something, and I have been just getting used to the rhythm of having 2 toddlers!


Let’s start with the family vacation, we rented a car packed up the kids and went to Drumheller. We made a pit stop in Red Deer to show the kids the awesomeness that is the Donut Mill. Now anyone who lives in Alberta should know about the Donut Mill, you go from Edmonton to Southern Alberta you must make a pit stop at the Donut Mill on Gasoline Alley.

Spud discovered the magical wall of Donuts. He picked an awesome Triple Chocolate Donut.

 First Bite of Magic.

 Princess Tally enjoying a donut and a mommy selfie!


We got to Drumheller at about noon so we decided to go right to the Royal Tyrell Museum, since we could not check into the hotel till 3pm!


 Waiting for daddy to come and join us! As you can tell Spud is less than impressed to go from a car for 2.5 hours to a stroller.

 The magical Bubble wall! They have a walk through from the beginning of time until now, and it all starts with the Bubble wall.

 The Blue Bubbles are from 2015 when my husband and I took Spud to Drumheller the first time, and the pink Bubbles is Princess Tally at the same age now, the colors were purely coincidental, and my mom pointed it out when I sent her a few pictures.


 This isn’t the best picture I  took but this is one my husband wants to take every time we go with the kids. See where our kids measure up against a triceratops. I cant believe how big my little spud is getting.


The next day we went to the Hoodoos were we could let Spud walk around and enjoy everything that was to see there. A hoodoo (also called a tent rock, fairy chimney or earth pyramid) is a tall, thin spire of rock that protrudes from the bottom of an arid drainage basin or badland. Drumheller is in the badlands of Alberta, and we had a blast, he kept pointing and saying “Look! Look! Whats that? Ooooh!” He was so much fun to watch.


Then we drove home, and honestly for the amount of driving we did in 2 days, my kids were amazing! Even though we had to listen to Blippi “Planes Trains and Automobiles” on repeat for about 6.5 hours, it was a great trip.

The day after we got home we went to Fort Edmonton Park for a few hours, I never got to take pictures due to the fact we decided it would be a great idea to give our some some freedom….. 3 years old in a place with lots of places to run and hide, thank goodness my husband walked around with the baby in the stroller.

 We lost her hat somewhere between the house and the car so Daddy bought his little pilgrim a bonnet! Isn’t Princess Tally the cutest little thing? I am surprised that she left it on the whole time we were there.

 We got Spud some hand churned ice cream as we were getting ready to leave.

 And we had a long 3 days, as you can tell. Sweet Little Princess.


I have also started a new Hobby! If you follow my Facebook page, you would see my progress in my Crochet Hobby. My mom had been pushing me to learn since I was 13 years old, only took 16 years, but I am hooked!


She made me chain 30 feet before she showed me how to do a second stitch, then I had to do 5 feet of that, and so on and so forth. Now I am watching YouTube videos on how to do more stitches and projects, I am currently working on hats for teeny tiny preemies…. Not going well, slip stitches are Evil.


Now we are just getting ready for the school year, our little Spud is starting an early education program 4 mornings a weeks and one special field trip day or we met with his Occupational therapist, Physical Therapist, Speech Therapist, Teacher or his Teachers aide on that 5th day. This is suppose to help him be caught up for when he starts kindergarten, and I want to give him the best start I can.


So there, that is where I have been, I am hoping that soon I will be back to weekly blogging.


Hope to talk to you all soon!


Ashton <3

Farmers Days


I grew up in small town Alberta Canada, and every year from the time I was about 10 I looked forward to the Farmers Days festivities. There was the fair grounds that had the sketchy rides and rigged games, the rodeo that all started on the Friday night, then Saturday morning there was the Mayors pancake breakfast for $2.00 and you got juice pancakes bacon AND sausage! Then we would make our way downtown to stake out a great spot for the parade! It was awesome seeing all the people from town gather and all the fun floats that people made and the big farming equipment. Then the little kids could go to the fire hall and see the fire trucks and go for a tour of the hall and meet the fire men and become honorary fire men and women for the day. Then we would make our way to the shuttle points and hop on an old school bus that ran every 15 minutes bringing people to and from the  fairgrounds where we would watch the rodeo play games and just have fun as a community.


A lot of local family businesses would get into it and have sales and specials that whole weekend since there were a lot more people around town. Well since I am now back in my home town, with my kids we are going to do our very first family farmers days!! Including the pancake breakfast, the parade, the fair grounds and maybe a few little extra things around town, and I want to bring you all on that adventure with us!


Spud, my son, has only done the parade once and he was just a few weeks (2 weeks) shy of his first birthday, so he was about 9 months adjusted. So that’s not a lot of fun for him, but I do have a CRAP ton of pictures of him there at the parade, but this year he will be 2 weeks shy of his 3rd birthday and Tally will be 1 month shy of a year. So I feel this year will be a fun family weekend going out and enjoying all the sights, smells and sounds of a great town event.


I hope you all will join us when I post the whole weekend in my blog in 2 weeks’ time!!


Hope to hear from you all then

Love Hearts and all kinds of Pretty Things


Ashton <3

Found My Perfect Planner

I am the fussiest person when it comes to day planners. It takes me months to sift through them and decide what ones I like, I have even tried making my own, but hate how they look… I have bought the build your own and never used half the stuff I put in it, I even tried the mommy specific ones that have spots for each family members activity that day. Nothing worked for me, on any level, until I found this one….

The Happy Planner at Michaels!

*Heavenly Choirs Sing*

It has a monthly view that takes up 2 full pages, lots of space to write everything, so you can see your month at a glance and how busy you will be. As you can see my 2 year old has some fun things planned and more to come as the year goes on.

The weekly view is just as big, the only thing I don’t care for is its Monday to Sunday, not Sunday to Saturday. The way each day is lined up you can use it as morning, afternoon and evening planning, or Husband, yourself and kids plans that day. I am using it as my daily to do list, activities for family and/or Kids, and Financial things that are required that day, as well as tracking how much we spent that day and where. (Trust me, that will come in later on in the year.)

Between the months there are quotes on the divider as well as a few note pages at the end of each month for whatever you feel you need. I, personally, will be using them as a spot to write down all the positive things that happened that past month. The whole planner I picked is colorful, and fun, I have also seen this trick a few times with other blogger and I have fun colored fine tipped marker and color code certain things, and I have an erasable pen for planning in things to see where they fit in during that week. I also have colored highlighters for the same purpose.

There is a plastic pouch in the back but I have to many pens for that to work with us.

I picked the bright and happy cover, with positive sayings, just so my husband didn’t walk away with it to use it for work, plus its really cheerful.

The downside to planners are, you, mommy, know exactly what is going on when, where and for how long… That is why I have this!!!!

On my fridge, I take my planner and fill in everything the first of every month so my hubby, when he is home, knows exactly what needs to be done and when. This is for everyone, my 2 year old now likes to help and have his own planner, which is a flimsy composition book he gets to “write” and color in when mommy is working on her planner, calendar and the magical kids white board!

This is posted just outside my son’s room, soon my daughter will move in there with him. The calendar part is just for their activities and lets them know when daddy comes home from working far away and when, sadly, he needs to go back to working far away. Every morning I give my son his special marker and he gets to draw an X through the day before, then I have our routine listed underneath for my husband when he is home, because he is unbelievably awesome and lets mama catch up on some sleep when he is home, as well for any baby sitters who come to watch the kids, or our parents who watch the kids. I have texted pictures of this to each grandparent more than once when they go for sleep overs.

This is my planning method, yes its a bit much, but it works, we are all in the know at all times. I am in charge of finances, but this way Hubby knows where the money goes and when at the same time.

I am hoping to have a fuller breakdown of how I use everything and how it helps in the long run near the end of the year and what I will take with me next year and what I will change.

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

Love, Hearts, and Pretty Things

Ashton <3


Welcome 2017!!

I welcome you with open arms and a willing mind to help wash away the dust of 2016. If there was anything positive that came out of last year, they are as follows…

  1. I now have the million dollar family! We now have a Mommy, a Daddy, a Spud and as of July a Princess Tally!
  2. I also learned that no matter how shitty the hand you are dealt is, you can come out on top, you just have to be able to swallow your pride and ask for help.
  3. I learned that I have the best parents and brother I could ever ask for, when we hit our lowest point and were ready to give up, they stepped up and helped us in so many ways, I can never say thank you enough.
  4. I learned that I have amazing friends, who are always there to listen and let me cry it all out, and not afraid to slap me back to where I need to be.
  5. I have learned that I was born to rise to every challenge that is presented to me.

I was going to turn this blog into a support spot for families who were in the NICU, but that is not who I am, anymore.. I was a preemie mom, now I am just a mom who has taken to writing about her life, plans and goals online. I am hoping that I can continue getting readers, and make great friends with the people already reading!

My Goals for 2017

  1. De-Clutter my house! Make the most of the small space, and DYI the heck out of my place! And share them with all of you, my lovely readers and friends.
  2. Put my kids into fun activities and let them make as many friends as they can, outside of my friends and their kids. I know they will still see each other and be great friends, but time to learn how to be social!
  3. Use my planner and mommy calendars more! I want to know what I am doing at all times.
  4. Be more active, I need to be around for my kids, and it’s time for me to get into shape to do so.
  5. And finally, stick to a blog schedule! And to use the resources I have found over the last 2 months, and really allow this blog to grow, been seen and possibly ridiculed.

My Hopes for 2017

I hope in 2017, all the negativity of 2016 does not follow any one around and we can try and make the most of this year and, try and smile more. I hope, everyone does at least one Pay it forward during the whole year! Whether it be something as simple as buying the guy behind you in line a coffee, or something big like donating supper gift cards to moms and dads in the NICU, so they can find time to have a night off.

My Dreams for 2017

My dreams are to get accepted into the peer to peer support program at the NICU that helped our son, and hope to try and help other families who have been struggling like we did for so many days in 2014. I dream that I will get into school to become a Social Worker to secure a career and a good life for my children, and husband. But my biggest dream is to just be able to provide much more in some way for my kids. After losing my job last January, I have been feeling useless and over whelmed and when we moved into our own place things started looking up, and I hope to keep that ball going for the whole of 2017!

My Final Thoughts

I have so many plans and ideas for this blog, but by that I mean, I am going to have actual blog posts like a “normal” blog, about couponing, organizing my house with a disastrous two year old following behind you, about just being a mom in general, what drives me crazy and what melts my heart. I know my goal last year was to start vlogging, ya know posting videos of my life and sharing them, but I don’t want to have to worry about where the camera is all the time, how to edit… I barely know how to blog and use these blog sites and I wanted to vlog and edit videos?

I am a crazy, crazy mommy.

I hope you and your families have a wonderful New Year’s Eve and don’t cause too much trouble. Now if you excuse me, I have a little girl who has decided that sleep is beneath her at night.

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

Love, Hearts, and Pretty Things

Ashton <3

On The Right Track

Its amazing what you can accomplish with a lot of caffeine, husband willing to preoccupy the kids, a label maker, a Walmart storage sale and determination….

We live in such a small place, that it gets messy to quickly, and looks cluttered all the time! We have 2 adults, a toddler and an baby in a 720 sq. ft apartment, oh and the kitty cat! So, as I stated before,  My Pre-New Years goal is to go into the new year with a clean and well organized, de-cluttered house! Well, since the madness of the holidays has passed in our world, I have started getting that ball going. I cashed in a few gift cards I got from family for Christmas, and did some Boxing Day shopping for storage containers to help my cause.

I have after shots only of my bathroom because my husband… Well he didn’t want pictures of his underwear all over the internet!


We have an influx of Toilet paper because I always buy when its on sale if we need it or not!


Then we have all our needs in separate totes that I got for $1.50 each at Wal-Mart… I should have gotten more to organize my sons room a bit better… you will see that later.


Now we have extra baby wipes ( which I am running low on and need to add to my grocery list. I have my Kleenex and Clorox, beside my makeup! Pushed out of reach of my sons grabby fingers, all the sheets for our bed, and the kids beds… Don’t mind my dirt laundry at the bottom… (oops)


And Now we have a clean functional counter top that isn’t full and messy… Yes I know I still need to wipe things down.

Now, that was what I did yesterday, TODAY, I cleaned my sons room… now before you jump on me… he is only 2 and his room became a dumping ground for the toys that both kids and a few other things, that really didn’t need to be in his room…. so here is his room before.


Unmade bed… with random toys and blankets, books and toys piled.


Diaper boxes closet over filled with more toys, activity table with no home…. doll house with no real purpose in a boys room (It was mine when I was little my grandpa built it for me.)


Dog bed in the middle of the floor, ( We dont even have a dog… or ever had a dog.) Books and clothes, Sisters snow suit… for some reason….

Now the After (after 2 and half hours, and locking my son out of his room after 10 minutes of him “helping”)


A tote box for Spuds Diapers, and a tote box for Tally’s Diapers, both full and overflow stacked inbetween. Extra baby blankets and a small comforter for Spud. Pink toy box for Tally’s toys, Dog bed on top of the doll house out of the way.


ATV parked, toys put in 4 boxes in the closet and his little man reading chair put in there as well.


Big red Reading chair cleaned off and stacked with all his new Star Wars toys, The foot stool turned into a end table for his night light/flashlight. Bed is made and only a few Stuffies were left on bed, for bed time….

So in 2 days I have cleaned 2 rooms… I have the kitchen, living room and our room left over to get done… There are 3 days left and 3 rooms left to do… when really I can do the kitchen and living room in one day…. We will see.

Look forward to sharing more of my progress before the new year.



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!” 

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Love, Hearts, and Pretty Things

Ashton <3