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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

Terrorism Hit Too Close To Home


This is Constable Mike Chernyk, and he is an amazing 11 year veteran of the Edmonton Police Service. You see on Sunday around 8 pm, he was doing a patrol walk around the football stadium, that was filled with people when a white Malibu blew through the sidewalk hitting him, launching him 15 feet in the air to land hard on the cement. The person who hit him, on purpose, gets out of the car flashing a knife scaring away people who were making sure the officer was ok, in some capacity, then proceeded to stab, cut, and slash the already wounded man. All this to get his gun, to get this police officers gun, to continue his plan for the evening. But, Constable Mike Chernyk fought him off, kept his gun safe radioed for help as the suspect ran off, the contable was taken to the hospital. The man hunt started.
Around 11 pm, a Uhaul was pulled over at a check point, they asked to see his licence and he matched the description of the suspect wanted in the constables assault. So the police officer called for back up, as he did so the Uhaul fled. Four police cars persued and pedestrians were struck by the Uhaul before it hit the curb and flipped on it side and the suspect was taken into custody. He has been charged with several different offences, but what the media points out several times in many different ways he was a Syrian Refugee. While I am angry at him for what he did, and how he ruined my safe bubble, I am angry at the people blaming all the people here who have actually come to be safe, to escape what is happening here, and Las Vegas. 

I am not belittling what happened in Las Vegas by any means, but this attack happened in my home. Where I grew up, where I am raising my 2 small children. This hurts my heart, and this man, Constable Mike Chernyk, is my hero. He is someone I wan my 3 year old son to meet, and this man is the reason why I know the old saying “Don’t let a few bad Apples spoil the whole batch.” With all the negativity around police, this is why I hold onto hope and let my son adore them and have them be something to strive for as he grows up. And this is also why, I will not allow this one man, who ruined my home and broke my heart, make me believe all refugees are like him. 

Constable Mike Chernyk, is home now, resting with bumps bruises and stitches. Two of the four pedestrians hit are home, the other two are in serious condition in hospital. No fatalities, my thoughts, and warm positivity goes to all the families effected here and in Las Vegas. 
Remember to Love everyone equally. 
-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

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

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

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.

2

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.)

3

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.

5

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

6

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