Tag Archive | Playtime

My Love/Hate Relationship With Blippi.

My Love Hate Realtionship with Blippi

Now, let me first off start this by saying I do not hate Blippi or anything that he does to promote education and inspiring curiosity in our small ones…. But that being said:

The songs he makes up and sings with Nicky Notes are on constant replay in my household,and the car, and anywhere my son chooses to grab my phone… And because of that, this mama is about to lose what little of her sanity is left….

Now let’s start this off with how Blippi came to be in our house…. My son has learning delays due to his prematurity and its harder for him to catch on using conventional methods of learning. He didn’t start speaking select words till just over two, didn’t start fully communicating using sentences until August of 2017, and I feel that is part in parcel to Blippi and how he does things. Spud would always watch random videos on our phones we put on for him while out and needed him to be quiet, like specialist appointment, my doctors appointments, and things along those lines. So at one point my husband decided, after his phone went for a fly across the room, that we were going to get him his own little tablet. So we found a cheap android tablet on Amazon, got a case for it and locked up everything we could, downloaded games and Kids YouTube apps. He loved it, now we didn’t let him play alone, and it wasn’t used all day every day. It was just another toy there that he could use from time to time. So one day Spud is sitting on my lap, I am 8.5 months pregnant with his sister at the time, trying to semi relax as everything hurt, and then I remember hearing this for the first time “So much to learn about, it’ll make you wanna shout BLIPPI!” and then he starts in about monster trucks, and my son was glued! He normally clicks away after a while but there was something there that he just found so hypnotizing.

A few days later we are at a Preemie follow up clinic and they are explaining what they feel he is delayed in and what programs we can get him in to and what we can do at home, the paperwork and pan-flits and that kind of thing. Well when we get home we have to book an appointment with our family Doctor so I can put my 3 year old in a specialty early education pre school to help him work on all his delays and get him caught up.

Side note:

This program is amazing and has done wonders!

He was signed up by the end of May and due to Start in September, and he was still speaking very little at this point, key words and that was about it, no matter how much we tried to teach and push the subject, more and more he wanted that tablet and to watch Blippi over and over and over again, I started looking in to all his social medias and followed him, sharing small clips and pictures of my son. From May to August, my son was singing songs, trying to say more words, asking questions and using his manners! I wish I could say it was from out persistence, but I think and feel in my heart that he is doing something on this channel that is speaking to my son on a whole new level that he was understanding and trying to use what he was seeing and learning from these videos. It was just amazing and I am ever so thankful for this, he has no idea how much it has eased my mind.


My son went from barely communicating to naming all the major parts of an excavator, and all the tools and parts of a fire truck. My sons school went on a mini field trip to the local Fire Station, and while we were there, my son shocked a few of the fire Fighters. When they were asking kids if they knew what certain tools were , or what certain switches did my son would yell it out and was right or really close 80% of the time.  He had a great time and didn’t want to come home….. That was until he realized we lived half a block away from the fire hall, then he was so happy, and he waves “Hi” and “Bye” every time we drive by it.

Now we are getting to the ‘hate’ part, but that is such a strong word, its a dislike for how catchy and how easily his songs get ingrained in your head…. So I was goofing about on Spotify and wondered if there were any Blippi songs on there, that we could listen to from time to time in the car should we be on a longer car trip… Well there were 2 Albums on there, and I am sure we are responsible for about 100,000 plays on each song…. We did a family vacation to Drumheller and the whole way down (three and half hours) and the whole way back (four hours…. More pit stops for our 1 year old) we Listened to only one album “Blippi Tunes Vol. 2 Machines” and OH MY GOD….. I am sure anyone who has done long car trips with toddlers, you do anything that will keep the calm in such a small confined space, and for us it was this, any time we attempted to change the music there was a full blown grand mall melt down…

He now has sucked his one and half year old sister into the Blippi vortex of learning, and my husband got sick of them fighting over the one tablet and figured out how to stream everything over the TV, so now all I hear is “Blippi Big TV Mommy? Please? Pretty pretty please? *inset cute head tilt leaning against you, Puss in boots eyes, and a pouty lip looking up up at you*…..

Now I know this title is misleading, because really I have so much to be thankful for in the Blippi channel, it opened a door in my sons mind that just allowed him to want to learn and explore things, he is always asking what things are, and what other things do, he knows different kids of trucks and construction equipment. He knows his colours and how to spell now! He tries to read, he is not even 4 years old yet and he is reading words, and spelling the ones he doesn’t know and trying them. This is a kid that at just under 3 years old was told he had moderate to sever speech, cognitive, developmental, fine motor and gross motor delays! This was a kid who I was told in September of 2017 I was told he was going to most likely need an aide when he starts kindergarten and his first 3 years of ‘big kid’ school. Now he is reading, spelling, singing songs, dancing, trying to teach his little sister things he has learned at school and on Blippi. He has made all these leaps and bounds all because of Blippi, he unlocked a door, and created a curious little learner that makes me smile in wonderment and awe at how far he has come in less than a year, and how much he is still trying to learn.

Please, check him out, who knows he may be just the right thing your child needs as well.


-Ashton <3

A Tired Moms Guide To Self Care

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

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

The Tired Mom's Guide to Self-Care

  1. Lavender Air Fresheners

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

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

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

    -Ashton <3

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

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

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

Part Time Single Parent

I am in a loving, happy marriage to the man of my nightmares, we have 2 beautiful children who I love more than life itself. We have a fat old tabby cat that is scared of his own shadow. But I am a part time single parent, my husband works out of town 14 days out 21, and I am left at home with 2 kids under 3, my 2.5 year old has pre school classes once a week, and lego club every Friday. Then there is grocery shopping, cleaning, cooking, changing bums, 2 baths, clingy babys, clingy toddlers, sick kids and everything else. I do have some help with family and friends who offer to watch so I can catch up on some sleep, but its not the same support I get when my husband is home.

I have respect for the moms who do it 100% of the time alone, you are my heroes, and to those moms whose husbands are gone for weeks and months at a time and are far away from family and friends.

I have had to learn that a schedule is key to a good and steady day, and I have learned that it doesn’t matter if you are sick, you still have to mom up and do what needs to be done. (I did let house work slide while sick though…. Shhhh.)

I have learned to appreciate the naps I get once my hubby is home and the break I get when it comes to going to the store with no kids. I have learned that I do have a great family and support system when I am alone.

I learned that my mom is the strongest and best person to turn to in this situation. She was the part time single mom for 16 years! My dad did this before getting promoted to the nice office job and my mom did it all like me, and she even had part time jobs and ran a day home with even more kids! She would grocery shop with the kids, and teach them how to do house work, she is much stronger than me. But I strive every day to be even half the mom she is to us.

She helped me through the NICU with my son, put her feelings and emotions aside to help me. Where she found the strength to do this started being a single mom for 80% of the time for 16 years.

I am a part time single parent.

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

Love, Hearts, and Pretty Things

Ashton <3


Welcome 2017!!

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

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

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

My Goals for 2017

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

My Hopes for 2017

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

My Dreams for 2017

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

My Final Thoughts

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

I am a crazy, crazy mommy.

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

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

Love, Hearts, and Pretty Things

Ashton <3