Tag Archive | Cleaning

Kidlo App: My Thoughts, Feelings, and Recommendations

Good day everyone!!

Sorry for the long absence, I have had a lot of soul searching, thinking and getting my focus back here, and here I am!

And I want to share with you my life saver and something that has improved my sons technical skills in the past few months, Kidlo Apps!

They approached me and asked me to try out their two apps: English Learning For Kids , and Kindergarten Math Games For Kid . My son is going to be 4 in June and has had his struggles with getting up to par with other kids his age as he has developmental and cognitive delays due to his prematurity and these apps have been amazing and helped him a lot along the way.  He has come a long way with watching Blippi and all those fun YouTube videos, but there is only so much you can learn by watching, at some point you need to start doing! He loves tracing the letters, he claims he has a magic finger, and actually gets mad when it doesn’t work on regular paper sometimes, not really understanding that the phone or tablet is different than actual paper.

My daughter has come to love the stories, and she will be 2 in July. She will sit on my lap or the footstool in front of my chair with my phone and play the stories and the songs over, and over, and over, and over….. And over 4 more times again. It’s nice to help me get things done during the day and not worry about Tornado Tally or Speedway Spud following close behind me, well for the most part, we all know as moms that is not the case.

My (almost) 4 year old has started counting to 50 and trying to do simple Math now because of the math time app, as long as you know we are there to help him. He loves counting! He is even trying to teach Tally how to count. If I had a video I would share! (Keep a look out on my Instagram, I may get one soon!) 

The story and song features are great to have the kids kill some time while we are out and about, dealing with doctors and specialists, and stopping the occasional meltdown at the grocery store. We are always on the go and I hate being that mom that hands her phone to the kids to keep them calm but sometimes it’s just easier when you need to listen or have them sit still for longer than 2 minutes. I honestly feel that these apps are worth it in the long run, I would rather have my kids be playing a game that is going to stimulate them in some manner, and have them think and work on those developing parts of their brains, rather than watch other kids play with toys, watch music videos… Kid friendly or not, (Yes I let my son watch a lot of things I shouldn’t… But really they aren’t words he doesn’t hear at home, sadly.)

We all try to be that mom that doesn’t let technology run our children’s lives, but let’s be honest here, in this day and age, the fact that we have our phone always out, taking pictures, texting, calling, surfing the web, posting on social media, watching videos and surfing the web. We have the world at our finger tips, why not try and accept the fact that it is the way our kids are going to grow up. Our job is to accept the inevitable, but spin in it in a way that shows them how to use it in a way that they can learn, that they can show us something with pride, and so that we won’t have to worry about being judged every time you let them use your phone, tablet or in some cases buy them their own tablets.

 

Give the apps a try and ease that mommy guilt for giving into the technological culture for your kiddos!

 

Let me know what you think about the apps!

– Ashton <3

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.

 

Infant

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.”

 

Toddler

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. HealthyChildren.org 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.

 

Tween/teen

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

5 Things Nobody Tells You About Solo Fatherhood

Guest Post By: Daniel Sherwin

Being a single dad is a tough job that gets way less credit than it deserves. In addition to the challenges you’d expect from single parenting, dads have a few unique issues that sneak in from time to time to dampen the day.

 

  1. People assume the mom has a hand in everything good.

 

According to Adam Petzold, a single dad interviewed by HuffPost, anytime his son looks well put together, people automatically assume the mom had something to do with it.

 

  1. Everyone has an opinion, and it’s rarely in the dad’s favor.

 

While the number of single father households is on the rise, there is still a stigma that can be hard to shake. It’s not uncommon for strangers to make innocent comments such as, “You’re doing a great job for a man.” While well-meaning, most dads are never prepared for the way this hurts.

 

  1. Support is hard to find.

 

There are single parenting networks across the country. Most cater to women. Even when men are “welcomed” into the group, it can be awkward. This Forbes contributor and single dad says many support groups are openly hostile to men.

 

  1. Breaking stereotypes is tough.

 

When you think of a nurturer, you think of a woman…maybe a new mom, a grandmother. You wouldn’t picture a bearded, flannel-wearing, manly man. Society as a whole portrays men and women differently. Dads were once boys, who were raised to adhere to these same notions. When they suddenly become the one that has to change diapers, mend broken hearts, and listen as their children recount the actions of the playground bully, they have to learn to be gentle.

 

  1. No one understands why the child isn’t with the mom.

 

There is no denying the bias toward women when child custody is in question. The US Census estimates that women are awarded care and financial support by the courts 82.6% of the time. When dad winds up with full-time parenting duties, it brings questions about the mother…questions that can be hard to answer when your child is within ear shot.

 

Mental and physical toll

 

Single parents, and especially dads, report negative mental and physical symptoms at a far higher rate than their married counterparts. And despite the availability of mental health professionals, men are less likely to seek help, which goes back to societal expectations of strength. These mental and physical health issues have serious consequences on the family as a whole, as men who rate their health poor to fair tend to be un- or underemployed. Worry about money only exacerbates the issues.

 

While you can’t do much to alter people’s perception of your parenting ability, you can take preemptive measures to ensure your family (and your health) doesn’t suffer because of it. Start by discussing your situation with your children in an age appropriate way. Help them prepare for questions by other children and educate them that there are many different family structures, and yours is no better and worse than others.

 

Finally, learn to focus on your own needs in everything you do. As mental health advisors note, “The way we eat, drink, love, and cope with stress, depression, anxiety, and sadness all play a big role in the state our mental health is in. Sometimes, it’s necessary to take a step back and ask yourself if you’re doing the right thing for you, and not the easiest thing.” When you’re a single parent, the easy thing is to ignore the issues, but facing them head on and with a positive outlook may be the best thing for you and your children.

baby-22194_1920

Image via Pixabay

 

**Thank you Daniel so much for writting this peice, If you want to see more of what Daniel is writting you can check out his blog at www.dadsolo.com

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

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

2017

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!

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

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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.

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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)

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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.

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

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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.)

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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”)

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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.

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

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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.

TTYL

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