All posts by GeauxMomma

Welcome! I am a good old Cajun girl, wife and mother living in Austin, Texas on a budget and trying to drop some weight. This is my story and anything else that I find interesting. I hope you do too.

I Can’t Call It Baby Weight Anymore

I had my daughter in 2012 and dropped all of the pregnancy weight pretty fast thanks to breastfeeding.  It was effortless and the weight just melted off of my body.  Fast forward FOUR years and I have surpassed my pregnancy weight and I’m not pregnant all thanks to: not moving, eating late at night, not watching what I ate and just plain not caring.

I’m no stranger to weight loss either.  A bout a year and a half ago I got into a weight loss bet with some women on the internet and even posted about it here.  But a week into it everyone stopped participating including me.  What I learned is that money does not motivate me and that I get discouraged fast.

I’ve kidded myself long enough.  I’ve made enough excuses (and I’ve got some good one’s) for far too long! I’ve tearfully watched the scale creep up and up and up for 4 years now only to excuse the numbers away out of existence.  I talk about it all the time with my husband and I have even talked about it with my good girlfriends and still not taken action.  I’ve gained OVER 30 pounds in 4 years, but the time has come!

First off a list of my infamous excuses and my attempt at some counter-excuses:

  1. I have No time – well I really don’t but if so many other bloggers can get up at 4:30 in the morning than by golly so can I!
  2. I have nothing to wear- this is actually true.  I don’t even have a sports bra or sneakers to work out with so it is going to be expensive to get started, but we are just going to have to put some clothing expenses in the budget.
  3. I need music- another thing I am lacking is work out music or an I pod.  I used to have a Nano, but that thing was a piece of crap and quit working long ago.  I think I can work out for a little while with out one, but eventually it is going to have to happen.  Maybe I will buy a used I pod or something.  Suggestions are welcome.
  4. I have no place to work out- I can not do some exercise videos at my house especially when it is going to be like 5 AM in the morning; I live in an old creaky house and I don’t want to wake everybody.  Also, I don’t have the discipline to work out at home to videos.  I need a place that can motivate me; it doesn’t have to be the fanciest place on the planet, but I need something that is going to motivate me to get up at 4:30 AM and go work out.  It must also be in a safe neighborhood again, I will be going under a cloak of darkness.  I kind of want an all female gym as well.  I also want something that has classes because I do well in that sort of environment. It isn’t going to be cheap that is for sure another thing that we will have to add to the budget.
  5. I don’t know how to work out- Can someone tell me what the hell a Burpee is, please?  I haven’t a clue in this department.  Form has never been my thing and I know that if you don’t have proper form you might as well have not worked out. So I need some help in this department…enter classes with instructors.
  6. I have no idea how to eat right- Not really true, since I read a lot of blogs on eating right and living a healthy lifestyle.  I will admit I have no portion control anymore and that is my problem.  And the first step in any recovery is admittance, right?  Baby steps?
  7. I have no desire to run- this is very true.  I attempted to run recently and it was pathetic.  I’m getting older and need to take better care of myself for me and my family.  But I have never liked to run.  I need to find classes like Body Pump and things I like to do. 
  8. I’ll start tomorrow or after _______<–insert holiday or special occasion.  I don’t think I am the only one here who uses this gem.  It is always so big even that allows me to justify not eating well and not exercising.  The big one right now is Mardi Gras, I mean they don’t call it Fat Tuesday for nothing right?  And I did not move back to Louisiana not to eat like 7 King Cakes this season right?  No, I seriously have had 7 cakes since Carnival Season began.  They were delicious!   All of them!

I have more excuses, but these are the Krispy dela Kreme  of the dilemmas!

Then there are the clothes that  I  “can still wear” and the clothes I “used to wear”.  In my head, I can still wear that backless red shirt with the green butterflies on it so I won’t throw it away, but in reality I can’t even pull it over my fat roll, let alone let my back hang out. So why am I hanging on to it?Instead of wearing the red backless shirt, I put on the biggest frumpiest black flowiest shirt I have (and even that is getting snug on me now).

And don’t even get me started on the 3 pairs of pants I can still  wear. I am now regimented to 3 pairs of pants and I am praying no one has noticed.   Also, my pants no longer sit at my waist anymore, they roll down in the front even if I wear a belt.

I thought about posting my starting weight and all of my measurements to really hold myself accountable, maybe when I’m done. I am just to ashamed of where I’m at and how I have gotten here.  In my head I am still skinny.  I think of myself as a young thin girl and then I pass a mirror and I’m like “Who is that? And How did she get in my house?”  Seriously, I am in shock that this has happened to me.

So I start my weight loss journey today with nothing except sheer will to start a new chapter in my life.  To put into practice all of these healthy living habits I have learned by finally eating right, not eating after eight o’clock and to cut back on carbs that I so over indulge in. To begin as soon as financially  possible working out at a gym.  To buy some cute work-out clothes that can help motivate me.  To use MyFitnessPal to track my calories and exercise each day, though I admit this will be extremely difficult for me to keep up because I typically run from meal to meal without even realizing I just put food in my mouth let alone the calories I just dumped into my body.

Above all, I am calling today the line in the sand and I refuse to not be motivated any longer. Starting today I am going to move my body, wake up early, watch and track what I eat and take a few baby steps forward in my journey because I just can’t call it baby weight anymore, I just can’t.

 

God Works In Mysterious Ways

You would not believe how much life can change in 7 months!!!  I ended up going back to work a few days after I posted my last post and pretty much hated my job; It was very stressful, demanding and the pay was crap!

In my work life I was miserable, but it was a good thing for my daughter because we found a great Montessori school for her in Austin and she loved being there.  It was good for me too, but like I said the job was crap.  I went back to work because money was so tight and it was amazing that I went back to work when I did because a week after I went to back to work we found out our house had termites.  My entire first paycheck went to taking care of those terrible beast.

My second paycheck went towards another life event: my husbands car broke down, well, it died.  It was overdue for a lot of maintenance and it finally went kaputt!  We attempted for him to ride the bus for a week or so, but that was ludicrous because it took him almost 2 hours to get to work and 2 hours to get home.  Our family quality time was basically in the toilet.  So we broke down and bought a used car for my husband.

Even though the money I made did not go towards advancing our tough economic situation, at least we did not go further into the ditch.  So there you go.

I wasn’t happy, but I stayed at my job, hoping for an opportunity to come my way.   And then one did.

I wont go into all the details, but an opportunity to move back to Louisiana presented itself to me in the form of a job opportunity. Something we had prayed or for years, to move back to Bayou Country, just fell into my lap, just like that.

After carefully discussing it with my husband, we decided to jump at the chance.  We threw some caution to the wind and hoped and prayed a lot, and I got the job!

I had to move first because my job was effective immediately and I had to geaux.  On October 14th, 2016 I moved back solo to Louisiana.  I left my husband and daughter behind to figure the logistics out, one of the most painful things I have ever had to do.

While I moved in with a good friend of mine in Lafayette, he stayed behind in Austin to sell the house, pack the house and quit his job.  A monumental task to face all by himself.

God really was on our side though.   I would go back to visit every other weekend and we got a really good realtor.  Our  house sold without ever putting it on the market.  First offer!  A little under two months after I moved to Louisiana my husband and daughter moved here as well and we have been together ever since.

We are renting a house now, but are looking to buy maybe in a year or so.  My job is temporary and does have an end date; however, I feel God led us here and he has been helping us every step of the way.

My Last Days As A SAHM

 

 

A woman’s decision to stay home or work is a gut wrenching decision no matter what she chooses. The modern world has turned on us and now it is a more difficult dilemma then ever. Stay home and be a Betty Crocker Pinterest Queen or go to work and be a Modern Day Professional Diva. In November of 2013, I left my job to come home and be with my baby, she was 13 months old at the time. It was what I wanted and I could not have been happier. I left my job on a high note and I began my career as a SAHM. It was scary because we weren’t really sure how we were going to make it, but I walked out that door anyway and said Fuck it!

Fast forward almost 2 years later and its been really hard around here; times are definitely at tight and lean. I have had some wonderful years with my daughter, but it is time to move on with the next chapter of life and that is me going back to work as sad as those words make me. I think it would be different if I was going back to work on my own terms, but that isn’t the case.  It is sad when money dictates how you raise your kids. Yesterday, I watched my daughter play from across the room, and realized she has no clue how her life is about to change and it is breaking my heart.

I also realize that now I am going to be supporting my family as well and contributing to retirement. I tell myself that we had almost two full glorious years together and I smile and remember all those trips to the Children’s Museum and all the other fun place we have gone. All the play dates at the park. All the fun filled summer story time days at the library. All those beautiful mornings of snuggling on the couch under the blanket and watching Curious George, they will live in my memories forever.

Now I am more scared then ever. I wonder how I am ever going to get it all done? How in the world am I going to keep the glue of this house together: laundry, cleaning, shopping, cooking? Let alone quality family time! I know I can’t be super mom anymore, but seriously how am I even going to make it through the day? My friend, who works full time, says she gets it all done, crapily, but she gets it all done. I guess that will be my crappy fate.  Working Moms, how do you do it all?

But it’s my daughter I worry about. Will she forgive me for what I am about to put her through? She is such a sweet child, will this change her personality? How will my relationship change with her?  I am terrified.

But I decided, come hell or high water we were going to go out with a bang! I mean we were going to make the days count. We are going to hit all of her favorites: The Children’s Museum, the climbing gym, play date at the park, painting, play dough, coloring, bike riding, etc…You name it we are doing it. We are going to make every day count to the fullest until the day my big girl starts school and I rejoin the working pool. That is my new goal: to rock this SAHM thing out until the very end.

Spring into Action

Hallelujah! Spring is finally here!  Winter is by far my least favorite time of the year.  Nothing bring me more happiness then to see the end of cold weather and short days then the arrival of spring.  Here are some of my favorite Spring things.  Play along in the comments section!

Daylight Savings Time:  Why oh why do we do this to ourselves? Switching back and forth from it.   It really messes with kids too.  This year my daughter slept an extra hour, but in the past she has been up an hour earlier.  It also stinks to work all day at a job and come home in the dark. Lets take a national vote on this and be done with it!

Warmer Weather:  I love the predictableness of warm weather, I also like it really hot.  I can really take it until it is about 100 then I get a little uncomfortable.  But I love that feeling of being engulfed in warmth when you walk outside.  Even if it is really really hot, which it gets really really hot in Texas.

The Redbuds in bloom:  Several years ago we planted a redbud tree in our back yard in remembrance of someone who passed away, someone special and dear to me.  Every year I look forward to it blooming for I know Spring is about to begin.  If we ever move I will have to plant another one because I love it so much.  Sadly, they have finished blooming for the year and we will have to wait till next year, but I look forward to it as the first sign of spring every year.

Rosebud baby

Me with my little bean 2013

 

Wildflowers:  Nothing is more fun then taking pictures in widflowers, especially the bluebonnets .  They can be breathtaking.  Central Texas, thanks to Lady Bird Johnson, has some beautiful highways in the spring.  It is sort of a Texas tradition to pull over on the side of the busy highway and take pictures with your kids in the bluebonnets.  Dangerous and scary as it is, everyone does it…be safe out there people!  I know of a safe spot though and I can’t wait to take my daughter out there this year for some pictures.   Here is a picture from two years ago that a good friend of mine took.  I am no where near the photographer she is.

NIK_2902

bluebonnets

The blue ones are Bluebonnets and the red ones are called Indian Paintbrushes

Easter: Nothing trumpets the arrival of spring quiet like Easter.  This year I bought my daughter an Easter dress and little shoes and I can’t wait for her to wear them to church.  We have also been invited to an Easter egg hunt this year on the Saturday before Easter and I am really looking forward to it as well.  In the past it has been so much fun to watch Eva hunt for eggs and I am thrilled to be doing it again.  And considering how excited my daughter was about Santa, I am also really excited for the Easter bunny to pass by our house.

easter dress

 

Spring Cleaning:  Yes, I am a big goober. Though I don’t really enjoy it at the time, I always feel better when the house is top notch clean.  I usually make a list of all the really messy and dirty things that need to get done.  On the agenda for this year: ceiling fans, baseboards and my closet.  I was supposed to have cleaned my closet out forever ago, but it just didn’t happen.  I’ve really got to go in the closet and find out what fits and donate the rest.

SXSW:  I’m not going this year (Boo!) but it is still fun to be even a small part of such a massive festival in your hometown.  There is such an electricity in the air during this time.  In the past we have gone and had so much fun, times to remember for always.  It is such a huge festival that engulfs half of the city.  I don’t know how many bands are playing this year, maybe a bazillion, but it is always overwhelming and so much fun to go to. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves music.  Next year, my friends, next year.

T-Shirts and Flip-Flops:  It’s the little things y’all, the little things.  I hate wearing big bulky clothes in the wintertime like coats and sweaters.  I love t-shirts and anything comfy.  Flip-flop season also means toes nail polish.  I need a professional pedi so bad, but it will have to wait a while.  However, I am a big believer in  a girl keeping up her toes if she is showing them off.  So I gladly pull out the toenail polish and scrubbing boards.

Pool Time:  Having a pool isn’t always fun.  Half of the year you just look out the window longingly at at it.  The other half of the year you get to enjoy it, well you do have to clean it more in the warmer months.  Soon it will be summer, but sometimes we can swim in the spring.  I am really looking forward to some outside fun in the sun days with my little family.

 

What are you looking forward to this Spring?

Little Potty Mouths

 

Maybe this is a generalization, but  just about everyone says a few curse words now and again.   I don’t know about you but before I had a child I had a cowboy mouth, my favorite word being the F Bomb.  I think it makes me feel better to toss out an F bomb  now and again.

Even if you watch what you say, kids are going to hear foul language somewhere or another.  I was watching Modern Family and I heard Damn it! at least one time.  Sooner or later your little darling is going to say a curse word and what are you going tot do about it?

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This situation was presented to us in a very real way this past weekend.  Since giving birth, working on my potty mouth has been a full time job for me, but I think I have gotten it under control.  Every now and again one will slip through the gate, but overall much better.  In fact, I actually was complemented on this by my husband less than a week ago.  It was nicer to hear than “Have you lost weight?”  But as careful as I  have been of late, I guess I have said one or two words that have been brought to my attention: Damn it!

Yes, the other day my little darling started throwing Damn it! around like confetti.  I did what most moms would do and I ignored it the first time.  Then there was a second time and I told her that “we don’t use words like that”.  Then there was a third time where my sweet angel not only used the words, but used them in the correct connotation, specifically “Daddy, I don’t want you to read me books, I want Mommy to read me books. Damn it!” insert hand slap.   Yes, yes it was a crowning moment for me as a mother.

So what do you do when your little angel suddenly becomes a sailor?  You do what any 21st century parent would do and you Google that shit!  Here is what I found:

  1. Don’t laugh or giggle– This seemed obvious to me.  I also did not find it too terribly humorous that a  3 year old was screaming damn it! at 8pm at night.  No thank you!  I would not find that hilarious in any setting.  Still I guess that is what internet articles do, state the obvious.
  2. Don’t Overreact– We might have failed at this one just a teensy tiny bit because the shock was so intense.  The first time she said it we did ignore it, but I think that only added fuel to her fire.  The second time she said it we addressed it as “That is a bad word and you should never say bad words”.  The third time she said it (all in one day by the way) was when we got upset and might have over reacted with a bit of fussing and yelling.
  3. Watch your own language– Another one from Captain Obvious!  Like I said, I have been working on my own potty mouth since she was born.  I really did not need Google to tell me this.  This really made me want to show Google a nice finger gesture I know.
  4. Tell your child that is not a nice word to use-Sometimes this sort of logic works and sometimes it back fires in your face.  When we told her that it was wrong to use that word she just figured out how use it better in a sentence.
  5. Play With Your Child OR as I like to Say, Play it Out- One article I read said to use play therapy to relieve tension in the situation and redirect your child’s attention.  Umm no thank you!  In fact the article was so full of shit I couldn’t even finish reading it.  I guess I’m not that hippie dippy play it out kind of mom.  I wanted to handle up on the situation and let her know right off of the bat I was serious.
  6. Sit Down With The Child and Brainstorm New Words To Use When Angry-  I like this idea a lot in theory, but we didn’t use it at the time.  If ol’ potty mouth keeps it up though we will have to come up with some creative ideas other than Darn it.
  7. The Swear Jar– this is a great idea for an older child who is really got a problem with foul language, but not so age appropriate for a 3 year old.  Besides money means nothing to her at this point and I am OK with that.
  8. If the Child Continues to Use Foul Language then Use a Disciplinary Tactic– Finally some real advice I can use which is ultimately what we did.  The child went to bed without getting any books read to her,  a fate worse than death to her.

I did not see “wash your kids mouth out with soup”, but I’m sure it is there somewhere on the internet, not that I recommend it, but it did cross my mind.  So there you have it, this is by no means a comprehensive exhaustive internet search of “What to do when your child curses”, but I have now saved you hours of time by reading this abridged version.  Most of it was pretty obvious anyway.   I guess it just reaffirmed that I wasn’t a bad parent and that I did know what I was doing, but isn’t that always the way when you are a parent and your reference desk is Google?

Currently…

Who doesn’t love a good blog survey?   And I love this blog survey that one of my favorite bloggers, Julie, at Peanut Butter Fingers  posted. She got it from someone else, but that is how these things go.  So I thought I would give it a whirl!

  • Currently Cooking…

Cooking all the time is what I do. Today, I made curried sweet potato salad (holly Yummmm!) and it was awesome! I also made a batch of Mama Pees Mmmm Sauce (also amazing), to go with some rice bowls (broccoli, chick peas, peas, and edamame) for lunch tomorrow.  Oh and we had leftover Gumbo for dinner tonight with the curried sweet potato salad.  When I write it all down like that I feel like a cooking fool.  I know I ran the dishwasher twice.

  • Currently Anticipating…

My parents coming to visit, hopefully in April!  Between doctors appointments and my Mom being terrified of driving through Houston, it has been a long time since they have come for a visit.  In fact,  we have not seen them since we went to Baton Rouge in November for Thanksgiving.  And It is so hard to travel there with a toddler (think 8 to 10 hours in the car).  It also isn’t really in our budget for us to go.  Gas maybe cheap these days, but pet sitters are quite expensive.  So, I could not be more thrilled that they are coming for a visit and to see their grandchild.

  • Currently Listening To…

The sound of the TV in the next room LOL.  No, seriously, in my car CD player I am listening to The Pixies, Surfer Rosa, an oldie but a goodie.  It doesn’t get much airtime in the car because my daughter is almost always with me.  But when I am solo, I crank it up and roll the windows down cause I’m cheesy like that.

  • Currently Craving…

Alcohol! It has been a long time since I gave anything up for lent.  Silly me gave wine up for lent and threw in all alcohol as well for good measure.  I guess that means I am anticipating Easter as well. LOL!

  • Currently Drinking…

A lot of Vietnamese Coffee!  We have a French Press and I make them in the afternoons for a little pick-me-upper.  They really help me push through the rest of the day.  I love them with lots of condensed milk.  So good in the afternoon!  Plus they are fun to make.

Viet_Coffee

  • Currently Day Dreaming About…

Becoming a freelance writer so I can stay home with my daughter.  I’m spending a lot of time doing research online, but I don’t feel quite ready to jump in.  I have a lot of self doubt and fears of not being good enough.  This post really helped put things into perspective for me though.  It gave me the courage to submit an article I wrote for publication.  I just said F*** it! and ripped the band aid. Fingers crossed that I will hear something good soon.  I’ll keep you posted.

  • Currently Indulging In…

Lots of special time with my little girl.  I love spending time with her, reading books to her and playing with Legos and Magna tiles.  We played with her Magna tiles today.  If you don’t know what Magna tiles are, they are little squares and triangles that have magnetic edges so you can build lots of 3D shapes and things.  We think they are our daughter’s favorite toy; she has a hard time sharing that them.  I highly recommend magna tiles for children and adults of almost any age.  They are a bit pricy, but really worth it if your child likes to build things.

magna tiles

  • Currently Avoiding…

Going to bed AND doing the menu.  It is way past my bedtime and I really need to cut this short, but I am having so much fun writing and brainstorming that I can’t seem to break away from the keyboard.  Additionally, I worked on the menu today, but it isn’t finished.  Menu planning is no fun!  I guess that is what tomorrow is for.

menu planning 2

  • Currently Needing…

I think I need a lot of things, but when I really think about it, I really just want those things.  I try to tell myself these things when I especially want something.  The only thing I can think of that I really do need is probably some new clothes, nice pants to be specifics.  I have put some weight on since becoming a SAHM and my clothes are, shall we say, snug?  I have got to get back on a diet and start working out, but there just seems to be so little time for that.  I really need a couple pairs of nice dress pants.

  • Currently Coveting

Since I am in the market for new clothes, I tend to gravitate to expensive clothes.  And there is no better blogger out there then Kendi for expensive clothes.  I want this outfit,, and this one and this one.  I could really go on.   As I side note, as I was entering these hyperlinks, I realized that I guess my style is a little Bohemian….hugh?  Who knew?

  • Currently Loving…

My time with my precious baby girl.  I love being a SAHM and enjoy all the lazy soft moments that come with not having to rush around from day care to work and back again.  I love that I can just take the day off of housework and enjoy finger painting and coloring with my little one.  Pretty sure she loves it too.

  • Currently Reading…

I love reading self-help books and financial books (I know I am a nerd).  But I am currently reading Chris Hogan’s Retire Inspired book.  So far I am not all that impressed, full book review to come if I can make it through it.

 

Retire Inspired

  • Currently Watching…

This one is tough for me.  Downtown Abby just went off the air (Boo!) which was my favorite go to treat on a Sunday night.  My guilty pleasure for years and years has been the Bachelor, but I’m not that into it this season, I think I am out growing it.  And I am waiting until I can drink wine again to watch House of Cards because the two go together so well.  I guess my other favorite would be Shark Tank, but lately I haven’t been that into it either.  So I don’t really know!

 

OK, your turn!  what are you currently into these days?

  • listening to
  • reading
  • watching
  • anything else?

The Poo Chronicles Part II

NOTE: This is the continuing story of the Poo Chronicles.  If you would like to read the first installment you may read it here.  The short version is that we have been trying to potty train my 3 1/2 year old daughter for over a year.  We have tried everything and now have resorted to bribery with a dinosaur. I’m loosing my mind here trying to get this kid to shit on the potty.  We think she might be afraid to do it that is why we are bribing her, regardless this is a typical day in the life.

DAY 398-Still No Poop!

toilet_thumb[2]

6:40 AM:  I am awaken to the sounds of “I need to go po-tty” through the baby monitor.  I jump out of bed and race to her room.   Once there  we rush to the bathroom.  Sure enough, she pees!  At least she told me before hand I tell myself; success comes in many forms.  We go about our morning eating breakfast, watching TV and getting ready to go to the grocery store

9:45:  I go to get her to get dressed and go potty.  As we are walking to the bathroom, she says to me “Mommy, something smells.”  My heart drops to the floor and  I ask already knowing the answer “Did you poopy in your pants?”   “Yes” she says laughing.  I get ticked off for like 2.5 seconds then remind myself she is only a child.  As I am cleaning her up, she asks me “Mommy was it my fault?” I blink for a second not sure how to answer this question.  I don’t want to squash her spirit, but I don’t want to just drive by the whole incident without acknowledging that she needs to learn from this.  I decide on “Well you are just learning. And maybe next time you will make it to the potty and get that dinosaur.”  She looks at me with the most sincere look anyone has ever given me with her big brown eyes and says “OK Mommy.”  I get her dresses and we head out to the grocery store.

11:30 We return from the grocery store accident free!  Now I know she can hold it.  First thing we do when we get home is go potty then I prepare lunch.  Fifteen minutes into lunch I hear “I need to go po-tty”.  She might have to go, but I know the score. She is playing the ‘I need to go potty’ thing for all its worth.  But I take her and she pees.  I decide that now is the time to try to get nap time going.  We do the usual nap time stories and songs and I leave the room telling her that Mommy will be back in a few minutes to check on her and to take her to go potty.  Learning my lesson from yesterday, I set the timer for 20 minutes this time.

potty-pants_thumb.jpg

1:20PM I go in her room.  She and her bed are dry.  I am seriously grateful for this, as I don’t feel like changing sheets and being the enforcer all by myself.  I take her to the bathroom and she potties right away.  I sit her back on the potty and ask her to try to poop.  She sits there and makes grunting faces, but it dawns on me that she might have no earthly idea how to “push one out”.  After 3 minutes I say  “OK lets go back to your room for nap time.”  But anarchy ensues and she refuses to get off of the potty saying she is trying to poop.  I let her  have a freak out for a few more minutes, then I try to get her up, but she has somehow made her body weigh more that a 200 pound man and goes limp like a noodle.  A struggle ensues and I carry her back to her room all the while she is kicking and screaming “I need to poop!”.  I set her down on her bed and walk out of the room as she sobs uncontrollably.  This is where all the guilt and doubt comes in .  Am I doing this right?  Am I just selfish to want some quiet/nap time?  What if she really has to poop? Am I a monster for letting her cry like this?  Am I traumatizing my child? After about 8 min she stops crying.  I reset the timer for another round wondering if 1:30 is too early in the day for wine?

1:58PM  The timer goes off and I rush into her room.  Again, the mattress and her are dry.  I take her back to the bathroom.  She isn’t mad or upset or anything.  I sit her on the potty and within about 28 seconds she pees, a lot.  She jumps up all proud of herself.  I dump the pee and ask her to sit back down and try to poop.  She grunts and grimaces again, but to no avail.  After 3 minutes of grunting and groaning I announce that its time to go back to naptime.  This time she gets up on her own and goes in without the use of force.  I reset the timer for 20 min.

2:30 PM  Timer goes off, naptime is over.  I take her to the bathroom.  She pees again, but no poo, despite sitting there for 3 min.  She asks if naptime is over.  I say yes, sadly as I have gotten nothing done except to come to really hate the word poo and want more wine.

4:00 PM She has peed twice and I decide to take a car ride and go to the bank. So I have her pee on the potty before we leave.  Traffic is heavy and we end up having to take a detour.  Still there and back we were gone 45 min and no accidents.

5:40 PM Daddy is home! Yhea!  We decide to go out for dinner.  We forget to take her to go potty before we leave.  Unfortunately, I remember while we are strapping her into her car seat.  She throws a fit when she realizes I’m going to take her back inside to go potty.  As a compromise, we agree to go potty when we get to the restaurant.

6PM We arrive at the restaurant and go directly to jail the bathroom.  She pees a little bit.  I feel successful and we go back to our seats which is in the middle of a dark and dimly lit room.  Ten minutes into the never-ending chips and bean dip I smell something.  Something that rhymes with the word troop, only not in an army kind of way.  I say “ Did you poopy in your pants?’  She giggles wildly and my heart drops.  We walk into the women’s bathroom for the second time.  I scan the stalls.  If this is going to be a mess then I need room to do it in I say to myself as I pray that the handicap stall is vacant and that no one needs it while I’m in there.  I shut the stall door behind me and I pull the child towards me and pull at the back of her pants, peering  behind her with the caution of cat burglar.  She is clean!  OH! Glory be!  I chalk the smell up to a big fart and tell her what a good girl she is.  We go back eat our dinner and leave.

7:15 We stop at Whole Foods for some wine, Momma’s had a hard day!

7:30  It’s bedtime and we try one more time for some pee and hopefully #2.  Immediately, she whips out some pee and jumps up.  I wipe her and ask her to sit back down and try to poo.  She sits back down and we wait.  This time I decided to try for 10 min instead of 3.  I give her books and eventually her Leap Pad to play with while I check my Facebook.  I figure if we are both on our devices then my crappy parenting skills don’t matter as much (pun not intended but it was a good one. No?).  At minute seven I smell something!  I look up from my phone and she has this gigantic smile on her face.  I start cheering wildly, jumping up and down.  My husband comes running to the bathroom to confirm the verdict.  He starts cheering.  We all cheer and form  a Mardi Gras Second Line  parade to retrieve the Dinosaur!  I’ve never been prouder!  We give the child her dinosaur and she is the so excited and proud of herself. I open the bottle of wine.

dinosaur_thumb[3]

 

UPDATE:  We have had some successes and some failures, but I think overall things are getting better. It is just really slow going, like turtle with a slug.  Nap time is better too.  She goes to her room willingly most of the time and 90% of the time she comes out dry.  There are still a lot of accidents with #2, but there are more and more success every day.  When she poops on the potty now we give her dinosaur stickers and that seems to work for the most part, but thank heaven for wine that works the best for momma.

The Poo Chronicles Part I

facs_toilet_training

NOTE: For over a year we have been trying to potty train our 3 1/2 year old.  It has not gone so well.  Well meaning people tell me “Have you tried the 3 day method?” I smile and think to myself you have no fucking idea!  We thought she was ready. She exhibited all the signs; just Google potty training signs and you will see what I am talking about. So we attempted and it was a colossal fail.  So we stopped. She exhibited more signs and again fail.  Finally, she decided, on her own, one day that she was going to wear panties. So we decided to give it another go, but this time we weren’t giving in.  Alas, it has been really slow going, like turtle stuck to a slug slow, but things have improved. She doesn’t really wear diapers except if we go somewhere, at naptime and at bedtime. She now pees on the potty when taken every hour or so, but will not initiate on her own. However, that is not the end that has given us so much trouble. The following is a typical day in the life.

DAY 397- No More Diapers

diapers

7AM-  The child wakes up.  I go into her room and take off her pants and diaper and bring her to the bathroom to sit on the potty.  I explain that today is a special day.  She gets excited, to her special day is a trip to Chucky Cheese or something.  I tell her that today we don’t wear diapers anymore, just at night and not for much longer anyway. And that today we pee and poop only in the potty.  Her response is unenthusiastically  “Oh” but no action in the potty.

8AM First pee on the potty of the day.  I count that as a raging success and prepare breakfast. Then we all get dressed and get ready to go for a hike in the woods.

9:45:  We are all ready to go, just waiting on someone to pee on the potty so we can head out.

10AM: Success!  After peeing on the potty we head out to the woods for about and hour and a half with no accidents.

woods

I get a little worried that the child might pee in the car seat during the 7 min trip home, but she surprises me and we make it home and  she pees on the potty.  I am shocked!  I then prepare lunch and there are two subsequent other successes on the potty.  I am beginning to think “we got this”.

1PM:  Nap time.  Oh how I have dreaded nap time since making the executive decision of no more diapers because every single day she poops at naptime in her diaper.  First, I take her to the bathroom and talk to her about pooping.  That it is about to be naptime and she needs to poop on the potty.  I reminder her about the two M&M’s she will receive if she poops on the potty and the dinosaur she will also get if she poops on the potty (Yes, I have resorted to bribing my child-hey don’t judge! It’s day 397 for Christ sake!)  No dice. She is holding it, but she does pee on the potty. Partial success. I take her into her room, re-explain that we don’t wear diapers anymore during the daytime and that Mommy will come in and check on her in a little while and take her to the bathroom.  We do the naptime story and obligatory song and I leave shutting the door.  I set the timer for 30 min.

1:25 PM The husband hears over the baby monitor “I need to go pee-pee!”  He rushes in like the cavalry to save the day, but it is too late. Pee is all over her and has saturated the bed.  I rush in behind him and take her to the bathroom.  Strip her down and sit her on the potty.  I remind her again that pee and poop go in the potty.  I tell her that naptime is not over, but we are taking a break so she can poop on the potty.  Meanwhile, husband changes the sheets and mattress cover.  After 3 min of sitting on said potty we go back to her room.  She throws a fit when she realizes that she is going back to bed.  I move on resetting the timer for 30 min.

timer

1:58PM The timer is about to go off in about 2 minutes when I check the baby monitor and notice that she is sitting in a big puddle and having a grand old time singing and playing.  I go into the room and take her to the potty while dad strips the bed. This time her pillow is also wet. I  strip her down and remind her about pee and poop only go in the potty and again about those two M&M’s and much anticipated dinosaur.  She responds with more pee, but no poo.  I bring her back to her room tell her I’ll be back soon to take her to the potty.  This time a full melt down occurs because she is pissed (pun intended) that she has to stay in her room again.  I subsequently shut the door and wish I was still a smoker.  I also worry that if she pees again then we have a real problem because I am out of sheets and mattress pad covers.

2:30- Hallelujah nap time is over (words I have never uttered to myself before).  I go into her room and to my surprise she and the bed are dry. I take her to the potty and re-explain about pee and poop and the potty.  Nothing.  I know she has one in the chamber, but is refusing to push it out.  So now I decide we are going to step it up and go every 30 min to the bathroom.  Husband and I do some chores around the house for a while.  While doing my 3rd load of laundry for the day, I come to the realization that I need at least one more mattress pad cover and sheet If I’m going to make it through this whole potty training thing with a mattress intact.  I tell my husband my epiphany and we decide to head to Toy’s R Us after her next successful potty.

4PM We drive to Toy’s R Us during rush hour traffic.  I silently curse myself for not putting more mattress pad covers on my baby registry when I had the chance.  We pick up said mattress cover and decide to sweeten the pot (pun also intended) by allowing the child to pick her own dinosaur for when she poops on the potty. Yes, more bribery, I’m feeling great about my parenting skills right about now.  After much agonizing over what to pick, the child decides on one and we head home.  On the way home, we pump up the potty, saying “if you poop on the potty your going to get that dinosaur.  Won’t that dinosaur be fun to play with? You gotta poop in the potty to get to play with that dinosaur.”  She then tells us when we get home she is gonna “poop on that potty”.

 

dinosaur02

4:45PM We make it home and all three of us huddle in the bathroom to see the show.  We await the poop with the  same anticipation concert goers await the main act.  But it is all for not.  The only thing that happens is she pees and then has a big cry fest about it.  We have no idea why she is crying at first, then I realize that we might have put too much pressure on her to dump her load.  I almost cave from regret and give her the dinosaur, but then a little voice in my head says I might regret that decision for the rest of my life.

6PM: I leave for the night to meet a friend for drinks and husband takes over potty duty. When I get home at 10PM, I notice the dinosaur is still sitting on the kitchen counter taunting me.  I get the run down from the husband…no poop. I silently curse the green dinosaur on the countertop as I walk by.

How To Do A 7 Day Meal Plan

menu planning

 

Meal Planning: nobody likes these two words.  It isn’t always fun and it isn’t always pretty, but if your on a budget like we are, it is essential to do  menu planning.  Whether you eat filet mignon or beans and rice, you telling your grocery list what to buy every week is as important as doing a budget every month.  I wish I could afford something like emeals, but it isn’t in the budget for us right now and since I am a stay at home mom then it falls on me to create a nutritious and delicious menu each week.  But this task comes at a cost.

The cost is about two hours of my time per week that I work on the menu.  Why so much time?  It’s a lot of work! In order for me to accommodate my restrictions (I’m on a diet), the toddler (who is very picky) and my husband (perhaps even more picky than the toddler) it takes a while.  I also plan 3 meals per day not just lunch and dinner.  Plus I have to figure out what ingredients we already have and develop a shopping list around what is on the menu vs. what we need.  And it all has to be bought for around $100 per week.  We try very hard to keep it at $100, but sometimes you need a few extra things.

Balancing this list of restrictions and constraints vs. budget takes time. Some people can do this in a much shorter period of time, but it takes me longer because of all the brainstorming, digging, surveying the pantry and freezer and organizing I do, not to mention I’m a mom and get interrupted every five minutes.  I also take things into account like what we have going on that week and if we are planning to have guests.  If we have things going on during the week then 40 min meals are a better fit for that day and having a guest means planning for a bigger meal to accommodate a guest and have more for leftovers.  Leftovers are almost always lunch the next day.

MY PARAMATERS to Menu Planning:

  • Come up with 7 to 8 dinners per week.  That is a new meal per day and one of the meals needs to make enough to freeze.
  • Every dinner needs to make enough for lunch the next day or a substitution has to be figured out for the next day’s lunch
  • Buy “breakfast-y” (spell check says this isn’t a real word, but everyone knows it is) stuff, but just wing it.  But I make sure I have enough breakfast-y stuff for the whole week.
  • Every meal has to have something that Eva will eat or I have to cook something else for her.   Right now she won’t eat food that touches or is mixed together.  Everything must be separate.
  • My husband won’t eat the same thing more than twice in a row.  Nor will he eat rice or pasta too many times in a row.
  • Every meal must have protein, carbs and a fruit or veggie in it.  That is the extent of my nutrition insight.  After that I am clueless.
  • I’m on a diet so I’m trying for less calories and overall more healthy wholesome foods.
  • I’m on a diet but my family is not and my husband isn’t crazy about diet health food, so I have to trick him.
  • Buy as little as possible and use any and all coupons that I have especially those about to expire.
  • Must have a main dish and a side or a main dish with vegetables in it
  • Must not exceed $100.

 

Let’s start at the very beginning of how I meal plan: planning time.  First of all, I pick a day and a time to do my meal planning and this is my chore for the day.  Just like I always vacuum the house on Monday, I always plan my meals on Friday.  I set a specific day and time to do this task.  I also do not shop the same day I meal plan because it makes me feel too rushed to actually sit down and do the planning.  If I meal plan the same day as I shop, I want to run out and buy the groceries not sit down and take the time to properly meal plan.  Consequently,  the menu is crap if I do it the same day and I don’t buy the right ingredients or worse I bought too much stuff.

The next thing I do is what takes me the longest and that is brainstorming.  I try think about what I am going to cook all week long and jot ideas down on a notepad. So, when it comes time to meal planning I have at least a starting point with a few ideas.

I get my ideas for meals from a variety of places.  I read a lot of blogs and I  have a large board on Pinterest dedicated to just food and recipes.  In addition to Pinterest I keep a folder on my computer for recipes and meals that spark my interest around the web if they cannot be pinned.  I also have a collection of favorite recipes that we lovingly refer to as “The Book”.

Additionally, we have a large library of cookbooks and cooking magazines that I can pour through for ideas.  Finally, if nothing strikes my fancy, I have a list of everything I like to cook and where I can find the recipe.  This list took me a long time to compile and I would only recommend making one for yourself if you are constantly hitting the wall when it comes to picking menu ideas each week.  I keep my list in a separate notebook that I created with different categories such as: chicken, seafood, vegetarian, side dishes, breakfast etc.  I created this list after I had kept all my weekly menus for a long time.

Digging is also imperative to do here when it comes to coming up with ideas of stuff to cook.  I dig through the pantry and the refrigerator to see what ingredients we have on hand, what ingredients do we have a surplus of and things that need to be used before they go bad.  I also dig through the freezer to see if anything in there peeks my interest or is getting really old and I add those things to my brainstorming menu.

After I have at least 7 ideas (hopefully more) I start listing them in pencil on a piece paper with all the days of the week with blank meals listed below that. Sometimes I have to move things around a bit to get them just right to conform to the parameters and requirements listed above, but once I have my list of 7 meals its generally all downhill from there.

menu planning 2

 

Here is this week’s menu:

Saturday (shopping day and we have a guest)

Breakfast: Bagels from the Bagel shop and bacon from the freezer- this was the only meal we ate out for and only because we had not been to the store yet.  The bagels cost $3.75

Lunch:  Chicken Salads (the chicken is from Eva’s chicken nuggets that I keep on hand in the freezer)

Dinner: GUMBO with rice and potato salad (not diet, but you have to live a little)  This makes several freezer meals

 

Sunday (I work that morning so Craig has to “cook” lunch)

Breakfast:  Eggs and Toast

Lunch: Leftover gumbo with rice and potato salad

Dinner: Red beans and rice (no rice for me) with sweet potatoes –  The red beans makes 1 freezer meal

 

Monday

Breakfast: English muffin with peanut butter and fresh fruit

Lunch: Leftover red beans

Dinner:  Tacos (no shells for me) with Spanish rice and black beans

 

Tuesday

Breakfast: English muffins with peanut butter and fresh fruit

Lunch: Leftover tacos with Spanish rice and black beans

Dinner: Skillet pasta with turkey sausage (turkey sausage from freezer)

 

Wednesday

Breakfast: Oatmeal and fresh fruit

Lunch: Leftover tacos with Spanish rice and black beans

Dinner: Cheeseburger Casserole with salad

 

Thursday

Breakfast: Waffles and fresh fruit

Lunch: Leftover Cheeseburger Casserole with salad

Dinner: Herb –Crusted Chicken and Parsley Orzo with Garlicky Green Beans  (chicken from freezer).  This recipe is from a Cooking Light magazine.

 

Friday

Breakfast: Eggs and an English Muffin

Lunch: Leftover Chicken and Orzo with green beans

Dinner: Tortellini with Vegetable Soup with a grilled cheese sandwich

 

Since we shop on Saturday the food has to be good all week which is why toward the end of the week I try to gravitate towards things from the freezer and  more vegetarian meals.  This is also the end of the month and since supplies around the house are running low, I’m pulling as much as I can from the freezer.

After the menu is all laid out I then formulate a grocery list.  I do this by going through each recipe with a fine tooth comb to see  if we have every thing, including spices for each dish, that we need.  This is where I have to start thinking about cost.  If the menu is too meat heavy then we will easily go over the $100 mark.  That is when sometimes I have to re-work things or rethink some of my meal choices for the week which can send me back to square one and having to come up with alternative meals.  This is also why I write the menu in pencil.

After that its time to go to the grocery store.  We love HEB (A Texas chain) and shop there almost exclusively.  Once or twice a month we go to COSCO for “supplies” such as dish tabs and paper towels, but the majority of our food comes from good ol’ HEB.  Here is this week’s grocery haul:

 

Grocery Haul

 

Unfortunately, a few things got overlooked on the first trip and a subsequent second trip to HEB was required, so, not pictured are the bread, tortellini, sweet potatoes and vegetable stock. The first trip to HEB was $96.37, but the second trip’s receipt was misplaced. My educated guess was about $10 more. So we did go over budget by a few dollars, but not too shabby overall!  Better luck next week.

 

Question of the Day?

Do you have any tips or tricks to menu planning or grocery shopping?

 

DISCLAIMER:  I am by no means a nutritional expert or Registered Dietitian.  These are meals my family likes and we try to keep it healthy, but Cajun staples find their way frequently into our diet, which are by no means healthy.   This menu is a work in progress and I try to hit nutritional guidelines such as adding fruits and vegetables into our lives, but they are not always balanced.  If you are looking for more nutritional meals, please consult an expert.

What I’m Thankful For Thursday Part 1

I am really into gratitude and the power of positive thinking.  I have read several books and countless articles (here is one)on the topic and I really believe it is all mindset.  My problem is I am by nature a Debbie Downer. It comes with the territory.

So, I have to force myself to be positive and sometimes, it feels a little forced.  Every book I have read on the subject says you have to fake it till you make it a real habit.  This is why I am starting Thankful Thursdays, to get myself in “the attitude of gratitude” <—The Secret anyone?  So everyday I have jotted down something I am thankful for.  Here is a short list of things I am grateful for this week:

  • Family time… at Sweet Berry Farms!….Who knew a pumpkin patch could be so much fun!

 

  • The Waco Zoo…we went on the spur of the moment and it was so nice!  Full of surprises and fun family memories.

 

  • Good Health….I’ve had some bad health issues in my family. Nothing makes you appreciate your health more than being sick, so I am thankful that my immediate family is as healthy as can be right now.

 

  • Good Friends Old And New…That bring surprises and love

 

  • Lady Bird Lake /Town Lake 4.2…I did it!  Walking a huge chunk of Lady Bird Lake/Town Lake was actually an item on my bucket list for Austin and I am so glad I got to walk  that with my friend and daughter in tow.  It was so beautiful and it made me fall in love with Austin all over again.

 

town lake

 

 

  • The Trailer Park…OMG go to Torchy’s Tacos and get a Trailer Park taco.  You can thank me later.  So good!

 

  • That Paco Lopez Had A Home.  So, the other day while my friend and I were walking Lady Bird/Town Lake we found a dog and his name was Paco Lopez.  he was wandering around in a more residential part of the trail.  We texted the number on the collar and they texted us back that Paco Lopez was indeed lost.  We tried to keep an eye on the dog, but somehow or another we lost the dog while doing all of this texting.  My friend, went looking for him close in to the residential homes. Eventually one of the neighbors, a Hispanic man with a thick Spanish accent, came out of his house wondering what she was doing?  We eventually understood him to say that Paco lived at the next door neighbors house. So Paco Lopez wasn’t lost, but home.  Horary!

 

  • That My Hair Is NOT GRAY Anymore….Thanks friend!  Never dyed hair that early in the morning before and amazingly enough we didn’t get it on anything except my favorite pair of shorts.

 

No More Grays

  • For Anita…who started THE CHALLENGE.  I haven’t lost any weight yet, but I am watching what I eat and doing more exercise.  For me it is really going to be baby steps

 

  • For Chef Paul Prudhomme…May God Bless his Soul!  We will forever love the food  he blessed us with!  Check out these touching photos from his funeral and second line.

 

  • For My Friend Taking Me To See… Bob Schneider, an Austin legend at the Saxon Pub…also another Austin bucket list item.  He was amazing!  Go see Bob if he comes to your town.  I have one of his songs jammed in my head right now and I am thinking about downloading it on itunes  <—-y’all that is serious!

 

  • Vacation Days…My husband is on vacation right now and it is really good to spend a lot of quality family time together.  He is also knocking some household projects out of the park and off of my honey do list!  Thank gawd!   Today is his final day off and we went for a hike this morning at Walnut Creek Park.

Walnut Creek Park Saints

Look at us SPORTING our Saints gear on game day. Geaux Saints!!!!

What is something you are thankful for today?  Play along in the comment section.

I am thankful the Saints are playing a prime time game and we get to watch them on TV while sporting our Saints gear!