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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 

Reluctant Stay At Home Mom…

I have been a stay at home mom going on 2 years, don’t get me wrong I love it and everything these two have brought to my live.

But I have been working since I was 14, baby sitting and I was a summer nanny to 2 kids one summer. Then at 16/17 I started cleaning wellsite trailer for my uncles leasing and fabrication company, that moved me into customer service at movie rental places, gas stations and a grocery store! I worked all through high school, did bad things and even got myself fired from a job back then. At 21 I started working as my moms assistant doing HR and payroll and rolled out to helping accounts payable, accounts receivable, and the accountant department. I learned I have a knack for certain things, and I took that knack to a 3 day course to become a book keeper. And then at 23 I started at my last job and was there for almost 5 years, and I loved it so so much. But many factors came into play and here I am at home with 2 little toddlers, and a list of things to do that I cant seem to motivate myself to do.

I do dishes, I cook, I tidy and I make sure the kids are bathed with clean clothes always, but my house has gathered clutter and I look at it and say it needs to be delt with but never really get to it.

I am a part time single mom, my husband is home 1 week a month and the routine is just out the window during that one week. I am ok with it, but now as I don’t have a real house cleaning routine, and no real motivation to gut my house it takes me a week after he leaves to get everything back in a functioning order.

I love being the one who gets to bond with my kids and see them grow into little amazing people. I have thought about going back to work on more than one occasion, but it’s not possible to do. Day care averages for my childre , $850 a month for my daughter, and $850 a month for my son, and my son is only part time Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays because he is in school 4 hours a day, and I cannot work Wednesdays because those are important meetings, trips, and many other things that are school related with my son. As you may remember from many many posts about this, Spud is delayed due to his prematurity, so keeping in constant communications with his school is key, and I am a hands on mom when it comes to that, I would rather hear it from the horses mouth than second hand. I have played way to many games of Telephone as a child to know that this would not end well. 

You might be thinking, how are trips useful, well they teach skills, and are fun for the little kids, weren’t field trips fun for you in school? But, with all these dilemmas the one thing that hurts is due to the fact that life costs money and I cannot make any, my husband is working camp jobs and losing time with his kids, seeing them grow up through pictires and videos. If I could I would change places with him, but I can’t, my skills are set to start at $18.00 an hour and cap around $25.00 an hour, where as my husbands start at $22.00 and hour and can cap at $45.00 or better. We are just starting his career here, so we are still on the low end when it comes to supporting a family of 4 and a Bijoux, so I am the reluctant stay at home mom. 
I love it…. But I also hate it….. 
-Ashton <3

Farmers Days 2017

Be warned, short blog in words, but will be full of pictures!!

Well we did it! We went to the farmers days parade! And really that is all we did for Farmers Days weekend. After a long talk with my hubby we both felt that the kids were still a bit to little for the fair and rodeo. I should say he felt that way, he was raised a city boy, and I respected his wishes, because we are a team, even if I was upset a bit.

But we did get to go to the parade, and Princess Tally has figured out how to clap and was clapping along with every one around her, before she fell asleep. We met up with Oma and GiGi, they enjoyed the parade with us.

Princess Tally was very happy because she loves her Oma and got snuggled to sleep during the parade. So much do that the loud noises of the tractors, the stock cars, and the hot air balloon did not wake her up. Spud enjoyed all the free candy, but was Tickled right pink when the local grocery store float gave him and apple! He was more excited about the apple, so that to me is a parenting win!

But, like I mentioned before about how Princess Tally was OK with the loud noises, Mister Spud on the other hand was far from thrilled and I had to take him out of the stroller, and he sat on the ground with me and I had to cover his ears so he could enjoy the rest of the parade. He was excited for the fire trucks, tractors, and other “big boy things”,  as he puts it. He kept pointing out all the tires and how big they were. But because he was snuggling with me I didn’t get to many pictures after that. Actually, I got none, but here are the few that I did get. Please Enjoy.

 Tally and her Oma getting settled.

 Waving at the military trucks

 Excited for the tractors, but kept asking me where the green ones were.

 Fighting sleep, about 3 minutes later she was asleep.

 See.

 Spud so excited he got his Canadian Flag.

 Spuds Big green tractors and this is when he crawled on my lap and needed me to cover his ears.

 Couldn’t even make it through lunch after, he was so tired.

 

Thank you for reading! Please follow me on Social Media.

Wish you all Love, Happiness and all kinds of pretty things.

– Ashton <3

Music Is My Fairy Tale

MUSIC IS MY FAIRY TALEI grew up in a house hold that always had music buzzing around. There was either someone playing a record ( you know those big black disk things around since the stone age?), someone (attempting to) play and instrument, or just someone singing a song they had stuck in their head. My brother could watch a Disney movie once and have every single song memorized by the end of it. My dad worked out of town and all my memories of him revolve around music in some manner, when he was home, whether it be dish cloth dew rags, pots and pan band practice to queen albums, or playing guess the song in 10 bars or less. My mom was a painter and at night I remember being all tucked into my bed and hear her classical music playing down the hall while she painted, and my brother and I drifted off to sleep.usic helped me become who I am in some manner of speaking, because when you are a kid you listen to everything your parents listen to, In my case that was a lot of old school country like Merle Haggard, George Jones and Patsy Cline, which I still listen to, to this day. But when I started school my friends introduced me to what their parents listened to and I loved that just as much as what my parents listened to, and I would ask my mom to buy me albums and CDs until I could get them myself with my baby sitting money. Then came the boy band faze of my life, but I was never ever picky when it came to bands and I bought it all and listened to it all. by 13 I had over 200 cassette tapes and 52 CDs, I still listened to what my parents had as well with A tracks, records and their CDs and Cassettes. There was never anything I didn’t like, and when I went through my rebelling faze I just started listening to Marilyn Manson, Eminem, and other “controversial” artists at the time (Can I hope my kids will do the same?).

To me there was a song to help me through everything, when my first friend committed suicide a country song came out at the same time called “How Do You Get That Lonely” by Blaine Larsen, and that helped me in a way, when my grandpa passed away I found comfort in his favorite song, “Long Black Train” by Josh Turner.

This is my last point on the songs, but I went through a time at 16/17 years old where I fell into a bad crowd forgot who I was and just wanted me accepted by everyone instead of enjoying being who I was as an individual, I got into some drugs and while I was getting myself out of that deep hole a friend from Vancouver gave me an EP, by a band Called Marianas Trench and they helped me find me again, and I thank those guys every time I see them. I have had the honor of meeting them and getting to know them. I see them as my friends in a way because of how they had helped me, and I wanted to help them, I learned what I could about street teams and the music industry (the bare bones of it anyways) and tried to help them make a mark in the Canadian music front, along the way I gained great friends and lost some friends, but it all shaped who I am today and who I want to me for my son.

When I was pregnant with both my kids, I played music to my belly and sang songs to my babies all the time. I wanted music to be a profound part of my children’s lives like it had been for me. Then a scary thing happened and I went into labor 16 weeks early with my first, my son. I didn’t know how to handle anything with my son by that point. I didn’t know how to make him comfortable or myself for that matter, because my normal means of comfort couldn’t help a preemie baby…. Or could it?

I did some massive digging and found music therapy was found to be very beneficial to pre-term babies. But all the studies I had read were done with classical music, I do like classical music but we were not going to be listening to that all the time at home, when he did come home. So I bought an i pod mini loaded it with music I loved, music Hubby loved and music that our parents loved, which is what I had been playing for him since I found out he was growing in my tummy. I told the nurses to play it when he was really stressed out and see what happens when Hubby and I would go home for the night. (Who am I kidding Hubby Dragged me out of there to try and get some sleep.) We would come back to find that the music had calmed him down and he was showing signs of major improvement over the course of our stay. At one point in the middle of the night there were 3 nurses attending to a baby across from my son and all of sudden they heard this music being played and they could not figure out where it was coming from, they walk closer to DJs isolette and it is his ipod that he somehow turned all the way up. I remember the nurse telling me it was “Shake Tramp” by Marianas Trench, because she was a fan of them as well and we had bonded over that early on.

Now that we are out of the NICU and at home, music is still a big part of his day, whether it be our dance parties in the living room, that our old mail man loved to laugh and wave at every time he saw us, or the singing and band time he has with my dad who is passing more memories of music down to my children like he did with myself and my brother, as well as my daughter now.

I once read a quote that describes who I am in a very big way:

I Believe In Music, The Way Some People Believe In Fairy Tales.

I am now passing on that love to my kids and passing along they music therapy ideas to other moms I have met in the NICU, I hope it is as useful and up lifting for them as it was for me.

Thanks, now here are a bunch of pictures of me and band member I have met, as well I will add I have kept all my ticket stubs and have gone to over 380 concerts (including bar ones) since I turned 18, that is 11 years….. I should also note that I have been to 5 concerts in the past 7 years.

 

Andrew TSE Me and Daniel Of Ten Second Epic at a music video shoot for them, they were a local band that has since disbanded, but I would recommend looking up their older stuff if you like pop punk type stuff.

Benny Social Code Ben From Social Code, another local band that has disbanded but again, Please look up their stuff online and on Spotify and iTunes.

Cam SOS Cam from State of Shock! Sweet guy, they haven’t put anything new out lately but their stuff is really good.

Chris Hedley  Chris Former drummer for Hedley! They just put out some new stuff that I love with all me heart and would love for you to check out Hedley if you haven’t already.

Dan Tupelo Honey Dan from his Tupelo Honey days, He went from backing vocals and guitar to lead singer, now they are all doing solo stuff, Dan has moved from pop and pop punk/rock, to country! So please look up Tupelo Honey the band, they have a few albums out with Matty as the lead singer, then Dan, and also please look up Dan Davidson and his music. I have known and supported Tupelo and these guys for 11 to 12 years.

 

First Mike PIcture Me and my very first picture with Micheal Ayley of Marianas Trench!! I miss the curl.

Greg Tupelo Honey Greg from Tupelo Honey! Sweet heart in spades!

Kadoo (Simon) SOS Kadoo (Simon) from State of Shock, I am not gonna lie this is one of my favorite pictures every, because I look damn fine! lol

Me and trench Me and the whole of Marianas Trench after stalking, I mean following them on all their Alberta dates. This was the last show and I am bagged!

Morgan Social Code Me and Morgan From Social Code, please look up their stuff.

Patrick TSE Patrick From Ten Second Epic and I from the same music video as before.

Pee-Nuts Pee-Nutz! sweetest merch/ sound guy ever! he helped a few of the local bands out and we knew from the countless shows we went to.

Sandy TSE Sandy and I from the same TSE shoot. He is a huge teddy bear and hugged everyone that came out.

Steve Tupelo Honey Steve From Tupelo Honey, I got along so good with him in the many shows I saw as well as proving to him I could hold my liquor.

Tommy Hedley Tommy Mac and I from Hedley, I think I was trying to mimic his face, or I was a bit tipsy, unsure at this point lol.

Guitar Sammich Of Awesome I would like to call this the Guitarist Glam-mich! We have Dave from Hedley, Matty from Trench and Dan from Tupelo, and luck ol me in the middle!

And this last one of Ian and I….. Lets say alcohol may or may not have been involved….

Ya.....

 

Thank you all for reading,

I am sending you all hearts Love and other pretty things.

-Ashton <3

Do I Feel Pretty? 

There is a lot of “Love Yourself!” and “You are wonderful just how you are!” articles out there and body positivity groups and social media posts. But there are also a lot of skinny airbrushed perfect pictured models out there, more so I feel. And that got me thinking, Do I really feel pretty?

I stopped and really thought about it, and then i stood in front of my mirror and picked apart EVERYTHING about myself. I could stand to lose 100 to 115 pounds, my boobs are to big and saggy, I have to many freckles and will never have clean clear skin. I went on about my hair and the permanent bags under my eyes, and everything i could see that was “wrong” with me.

Then, my husband walks in the room and asked what I was doing, “oh nothing” and I gave him a smile, he then just looks me up and down, “You are beautiful.” Gives me a quick kiss grabs what he needed and leaves the room. And after that few moment exchange I looked back in that mirror and expected to see something different, but I still saw all my “imperfections”. Then my daughter wakes up, then I remember the struggle to have her and that big c section scar that caused a small belly overhang, and I smiled. Then she started playing with my hair and smiled at me, she always loved my hair in braids that’s why its up. Then my son comes running in the room, and goes in a big voice “Hi Mommy!” and that made me think about the stress of him being in the NICU and the many sleepless nights I had because of it and the PTSD, and these raccoon eyes seemed like a badge of honor to have survived that terrible and magical time of my life. The. I remember how I tried to breast feed both my kids and that’s why my boobs are sagging. And as for the being bigger, I can change that, if I really wanted to I can change all of that.

I always make excuses for not wearing makeup or taking the time to make myself feel good. My goodness, there are days where I wont even brush my hair and just throw it in a pony tail or top knot, because I am more focused on my kids. But those are things that I can fix and when I fix those things, it takes  15  to 20 minutes and I feel like I am pretty. There is no magic potion that is going to make you forget the stretch marks, or the 12 extra pounds you are trying to hide. So if you ask me do I feel pretty 100% of the time, hell no! Would I change anything about my body, I would say yes at the time, but when it came to it no. Because I earned myself with this body, I have 2 great kids and a husband who tells me how pretty I am and how much he loves me. That makes me pretty no matter how I feel.

 

Thanks for reading!

Sending you love, hearts and Other pretty things.

-Ashton <3

Farmers Days

Farmers

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

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

I Thought We Beat The Odds

I Thought We Beat The Odds

When my water broke at 22 weeks my son was given 0% of survival, when he was born at 24 weeks and 2 days he was given a 55% chance of survial with 65% chance of long term health issued. We beat those odds.

When he was 4 days old they started scanning him for brain bleeds, they are extremely common in micro preemies, we beat those odds too and had not a single brain bleed. At 3.5 months old they told us he had ROP and needed laser eye surgery, he didn’t need glasses till 2 and it was just for near sightedness. 

We started crawling, talking and walking and to everyone around him is a normal happy healthy almost 3 year old boy. We had beaten all the odds stacked against micro preemie, I have had many doctors look at him and how my sweet little Spud acts and then look at his medical history and they have a hard time believing that is the same little boy they see in front of them. We had beaten all the odds!

Or ,so I thought….

On April 20th of this year, we met with the Preemie Follow Up Clinic, these awesome groups of doctors and specialists track the progress of many many different Preemies that have gone through Stollery Hospital doors.  Our appointment was from 9 am till noon, we were to meet with a psychologist, a speech and language specialist, an occupational therapist, as well as a doctor and nurse to address any long term concerns we may have, and to also chart his growth, as well as any nutritional and dietary needs he may need. 

Now, I wont go into to much detail, because it is private medical information. The long short if it is, we have delays, significant delays that now require him to attend a special pre-school, at 3 years old. We fell pray to being a mom and dad, seeing all the awesome things our kid was doing but not asking questions about it. 

So now, we as a family have to make a new plan, a plan to fix the delays, to give my son the best possible chance at a normal school experience when he is older. To show him how hard work and determination beat every obstacle in our paths.

We not have beat all the Preemies odds, but we can beat this. We can do this! 

Thank you for reading, if you like what I do here please Like, Comment, and follow me on my Social Media.

Love, Hearts, and Other Pretty Things.

-Ashton <3

Mommy Groups

I am a part of a few mommy groups but there is one I post in quite a lot in one of them because the admins are great and keep a lot of people in check. There is a lot less negativity there and next to no mommy shamming, I have done a post about mommy shamming in person but the most common kind of mommy shamming is online. The power of the pen and anonymity makes people a lot braver and bolder with what they say to other people.

Mommy groups were made for all of us moms to talk to each other, get advice, vent about kids, husbands and life. We need that outside of our friends sometimes, sometimes we need the advice of people at a different part of life to help with what we are doing right now. You can get 2 to 100 comments on a post depending on the topic.

Even in the best of Mommy Facebook groups there are those moms who will bring you down when you are feeling your worst. There are moms who vent about their kids and how they are acting, how they can’t handle it and ask other moms how they dealt with it. They will get 100 comments that are nice and helpful about the situation at hand, but then that one comes in. That one that either has a snarky undertone, or just comes across as just plain mean. That is the one that is going to stick with you the entire time.

Mommy Facebook groups are not for the faint of heart, whether it be what people reply to your posts, what  people ask, or some of those pictures that get posted! Its a scary place where a lot of drama can take place if you let it. BUT, it is also a place rich with so many wonderful ladies who have either gone through the same thing or a similar situation, and are willing to help you out as much as you need.

You need to take your time and observe the Mommy Facebook groups you have joined for a bit and see the goings on in each group before you commit to the one you are going to post a lot into. All of the above is my opinion only, and I am here to present all that I can to you lovely people! SO, I posted 3 questions to the mamas in two of the Mommy Facebook Groups I am a part of, and one mom stated what keeps her coming back is she has a place to go to vent and not worry about people bashing her. Another mom put:

“I really want to be able to go to a place that is unbiased and non-judgmental. A place where even if I’ve never met them in real life, I know the moms have my back and I can say (just about) anything without being afraid to do so.”  -Mama Ronni

 The 3 Questions I posted were as follows:

  1. What are topics you really want to avoid in a Mommy Facebook group?
  2. What are the things that keep you coming back for more?
  3. What are the things you look for in a Mommy Facebook group?

What topics a lot if not all are saying they want to avoid in these groups are topics along the lines of, Circumcision, breast feeding vs formula feeding; they are OK with as asking for advice if you are doing one or the other but please don’t take poll before your baby is here, that can just get nasty. A few other topics that can get touchy are car seat rules and laws, as the box and instructions state one thing, each county, state, province and country does have its own rules and regulations that you should follow, if you are not sure police stations and pediatricians will be a good source of information for you. Politics and religion are 2 very big topics that also should be avoided in these groups.

What keeps these lovely mamas coming back for more is a mixture of having a place that you can just blow off steam about your kids, your husband, partner or any member of your family or extended family and not be met with judgment and negativity. There are a lot of tips being passed around as they work for certain moms, for potty training, snacks and meal for fussy and picky eaters, things along those lines. Name calling is only allowed towards Mother-In-Law’s (or any inlaw/family member) who deserve it, baby daddy’s who are as useful as tits on a bull, Baby Daddy’s Girl Friends who cant seem to stay on their side of the parenting line, and creepy men/coworkers that cant catch a hint.  Sanctimommies are welcome, but be warned you start any shit they will come after you with a verbal vengeance. There is also a lot of humor and honesty that it put out there to bring some lightness to some serious topics, despite a lot of the ugly that pops up these moms do support and care about one another, even if miles separate them, there is a closeness between a few of them.

“Some moms can really encourage and give you support especially when you are stressed or down.” – Mama Leslie

What is looked for in a successful group is the type of advice that is being given, making sure there is no shaming or making a mom feel worse than she already does. There is a HUGE difference between constructive criticism/advice that takes you in a different direction from a different point of view, and just flat out shaming this poor mama for something that is Nine times out of ten, out of her hands in the hands of the terrible one, I mean the kids….. You don’t always have to agree because lets face it, we never do on a lot of topics, but as long and you are respectful and see in some way what they are saying, that is a big thing they look for in a group. Being a mom is hard, and we all do it the best we can in different ways, so support is a very big thing that is needed in the groups, some people are so far from family and friends and need some sort of support system and these groups can be it, and we need to make sure they stay safe and supportive for that, and many other reasons.

“I am a first time mom..So seeing another mom mess up worst or just like me makes me feel like I am not so bad at this mom thing. We all try are hardest and a group is supposed to be there to raise people up.” – Mama Rebecca

This is the true story of what I think and feel as well as what other moms think and feel about Mommy Facebook Groups.

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

Love, Hearts, 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