Ask Me Anything Monday

This is a little fun exercise I used to do last year that fell into obscurity between working and being pregnant. Soooo, I’m giving it a shot again. If you’re interested, ask away 🙂 

Submit any questions, queries, or random wonderings you may have! 🙂 As always, it can be a personal question about me or my life or it can be completely random. And I promise to answer it as completely and honestly as I can! There are no rules or limitations. Let’s go! 
Much love,

Ashley King

© All Rights Reserved 2017

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The Eptiome of Peace

I’m truly blessed today to be sitting in a lovely rocking chair on the balcony my in-laws beach house. Their property overlooks protected land consisting of acres of green grass and marshland. At night it’s so dark that you can see what seems like every star in the sky. It’s a beautiful sight. The air is that perfect temperature of warm while still being breezy and refreshing. The birds are chirping and singing. My family is inside, all doing their own things. I’ve just realized I forgot my coffee however, and I’m not pleased about that. But I’ve found that perfect spot. I’m right where I want to be in my chair (nothing’s going numb), my laptop is perfectly propped on a pillow in my lap, and I’m comfortable. Fuck it, I’ll have to live without the coffee.

Anyway, we came out to the shore house for Memorial Day weekend. It’s 2 blocks from the beach in Ocean City, New Jersey and it’s quite peaceful. I have really, really, really needed this vacation. Life has become a whirlwind of being overworked, underpaid, and over stressed. I have so many things to be grateful for and I am, but I would kill to be able to sit down and slow down more often. I haven’t been able to write anywhere near as often as I want to and I find myself getting snippy and nasty. It’s not cool. I’m really a bit of twat sometimes. Seriously. Just ask the man who has to live with me. I’m easier than some people though; meaning that if you give me good food, I’m pretty much happy.

Today is a happy day though without frustration or work or stress. We have Ladybug (my stepdaughter) whom I absolutely adore and she’s been a ball of joy all day with her cute little sentences and big curious eyes. She’s the most beautiful and well tempered child I’ve ever known. She’s almost always happy and even when she does get upset it doesn’t last very long. She rarely throws temper tantrums and she’s incredibly loving. I’m blessed to have this little girl in my life. She’s in the other room falling asleep currently while I sit here utterly grateful for how much this place is just the epitome of peace. We spent the morning at the beach playing in the sand since the water is still so cold it’s basically equivalent to the seventh gate of hell. Then we came back for lunch and are now just relaxing. My other half and his father are back at the beach getting all of our stuff, my mother-in-law is somewhere doing her own thing, and I’m writing this to you. Just a short little piece about this place that will hopefully serve the purpose of getting the creative juices flowing…which sounds a bit gross at the moment. But for now, that’s all I have. Enjoy the picture; I think I’m going to go take a nap. The exhaustion is real these days lol. Toddlers have it right man. Eat often, sleep a lot, and have other people wipe your ass. Not a bad way to live if you ask me. 🙂

by Ashley Hebner

© All Rights Reserved 2016

Ramblings about “Step _____” and Bisquick

I never liked the term “Step ______”. I had horrible experiences with step dads and therefore associated “step” with bad. I have an awesome set of step siblings. A twin boy and girl. They just weren’t enough to break down the association that their horrible father so kindly gifted me with. So as I venture into this new phase of life with my partner’s daughter, I don’t consider myself her step mother. For one, I’m not married to her father. Two, I don’t want anything about our relationship to be bad and there’s my whole thing with associating “step” relationships with “bad” relationships. And three, I just want to be someone who cares for her. Should she grow up and some day choose to refer to me in that way, I will have no problem with it. But I believe the choice is hers. I won’t assume that title for myself. I know what it’s like to have a step parent forced on you and I won’t be part of doing that to this little girl. I will be whatever she needs me to be. And for now, that’s just another person who loves her and cares for her. That’s my thoughts on that matter.

Aside from that, I do so enjoy the little schedule we’re making with her. When it gets close to bed we get her in her jammies and relax on the couch with a blankie and watch some TV. She’s a total snuggle bug. Last night Mulan II was the movie of choice. Then we put her in her sleep sack and go into the big comfy chair in her room. She has a book called “Goodnight Moon” that was her daddy’s when he was a boy and we read it to her every night. Generally 2 or 3 times. So she babbles her little baby versions of the book and points out the kittens and socks as he reads it once and then I read it once. On some nights he reads it again after me. Then he lies her down and she’s out within 2 minutes. Then in the morning I always wake up to her sitting on my bed with her daddy, staring at me like I’m a zombie from Night Of the Living Dead (I think she’s a little scared of me when I’m asleep). I wake up and she almost instantly starts repeating “eats, eats!!” which is her way of saying she’s hungry. So this morning I crawl out of bed, eyes half open, and stumble into the kitchen to make some pancakes. I soon discovered that I had enough Aunt Jemima mix (my favorite) to make her little mini pancakes and maybe one more and then some of a Bisquick box left for Ryan. I HATE BISQUICK! It cooks weird, it tastes weird. I don’t like it. So I make her little mini pancakes and sit her down in her high chair to eat, make one more small one for me, and then mix up some Bisquick for Ryan. I don’t know what the fuck is wrong with that mix but the pancakes were weird. So weird he couldn’t even eat them (and he’ll eat anything). So needless to say, he ate Cinnamon Toast Eggo Waffles for breakfast.

Now they’re inside yelling at the TV together (which is adorable) as Ryan plays Call of Duty, I’m outside vaping and writing this and all is right with the world. I want to take her out and do something with her before we give her back to her mother today. Something fun and memorable. I can’t imagine how it must feel for Ryan to only see his daughter the entire weekend every other weekend and then for one day every “off” weekend. I’m going to miss her so much, so how must he feel? I hope her mother knows just how lucky she is to get to spend every day with this little girl. Whenever Ryan has Bug for the weekend she tells him that she misses their daughter terribly. How would she feel if he was the one who had her all the time and she only got a weekend here and there when he saw fit? I’m sure it would rip her heart out, much like it has his. Hopefully this new custody agreement will make (and keep) it more fair. It’s a hard thing and all we can do is ensure a smooth transition between two loving households. I can’t control what her mother does in her home but I can control how Bug is treated when she’s here; and that will always be with the utmost amount of love and care.

Well, my back is on fire from bending over typing this so I think it’s time to tie it up. Thank you everyone who made it to the end of this and read my random ramblings about my blended family life. I hope everyone has a great day. Go home and hug your babies 🙂

by Ashley Hebner

© All Rights Reserved 2016

My Promises To You

So as most of you well know by now, my significant other has a daughter. We’ll call her Bug. So Bug is spending her first weekend with us after an agreement that stated she wouldn’t meet either of her parent’s significant other’s for 6 months. And I really can’t express how much I love this little girl already. I don’t have any children of my own yet so I can’t truly know how much I love her in comparison to how much a parent loves their own flesh and blood; but I can say I would do anything for her. She is this little ball of perfect innocence and I would NEVER let anything harm her. It’s crazy to me how quickly I can love this little girl and how much. Knowing I was driving home from work to her and my significant other yesterday put this enormous smile on my face and getting to hold her while I cooked her dinner and taught her how to say “‘sghetti” was amazing. I love her so much. However, I’m pretty sure her mother has spent all weekend sick to her stomach thinking I’m going to try to replace her…

Now, I am not a fan of this woman. She has hurt my partner, done mean, horrible things that include putting her own feelings before what’s best for her child, and she’s physically assaulted my partner while their daughter was in his arms. That is just not okay with me. However, I would never try to replace her; nor could I, even if I wanted to. No one can take away the bond she has with this little girl and I would never want to. She carried her for 10 months, dreamed a world’s worth of dreams for her, and brought her into this world. She has loved her, nurtured her, cried for her, and fought for her. She is her mother. And no one can ever take that away. I will always respect that. I would never even consider trying to take that away. 

I wish she knew that. As someone who has always wanted children I can’t even begin to imagine the fear she experienced when her ex husband and I got together and actually stayed together. I can’t imagine all the dreams of hers that our union solidified were gone. I can’t imagine her fear of being replaced or having another woman in her daughter’s life. But replacing her was never my intention and it never will be. I would never want someone to do that to me and my child and would therefore never do that to another woman or her child. However, that does not change the fact that I love my partner and I love their little girl. It’s an inevitable fact that I will be a part of Bug’s life. The biggest wish I have for her is that when she’s in our home, she knows she is loved immensely and safe. I am not her mother. But I am her daddy’s partner and I will always love and protect her as if she was my own. I will never speak an ill word about her mother to her. I will never make her feel less than. I will never confuse her by selfishly attempting to make her call me mommy. To her, I am “Ashy” and that’s the way it’s meant to be. If I was ever to be in her mother’s position I would hope my ex would choose a woman like me. Someone who would love and protect my daughter. Someone who would never try to replace me or poison my child towards me. Someone who would reinforce the good morals and good self esteem I plan to teach her. Someone who would respect our bond and never try to infringe upon it. Someone who would raise her in one of two loving families and  reinforce the fact that she is loved unconditionally by every single person in her life, blood related or otherwise. 

Being a part of this little girl’s life is a privilege and a blessing. I would never do anything that could in any way negatively impact her. I would never hurt her or taint her. I will always do what’s best for her; even if it’s not what’s best for myself, my partner, or my relationship with her father. She will always come first. Her little voice and her giggles bring joy to my life. Hearing her say my name makes everything else immediately stop as all my attention is turned to her. Hearing her cry feels like someone is ripping my heart from my chest and I know I would do anything to make it better. I never knew I could love someone else’s little girl so much; and yet, I do. This child is a blessing. A clean slate. A perfect being. I can only hope her blended families find a way to “blend” better so that she may know what it is to feel loved twice as much, protected twice as fiercely, and accepted by twice as many people. I will never take part in make her feel like she “has to choose”. I will never make her feel torn. I will always respect her mother for being her mother and bringing this precious little person into the world. I will always treat her the same way as I will treat my own children some day. I will never make her feel left out or different or “like a step child”. She will always be shown love, adoration, empathy, respect, and compassion. She will always be accepted and treated as an equal. She will be told how much she is enough, is smart, is beautiful, is kind, is loved, is family. She will always be treated as one of my own, just as my second mom always treated me as one of her own. I only hope I can add to her life and never take away from it, in any way. I love you Bug; these are my promises to you. 

  
by Ashley Hebner

© All Rights Reserved 2016