Category Archives: Lessons Learned

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.

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?

potty-mouth_thumb.jpg

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?

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.

5 Things My 2 Year Old Has Retaught Me About Life

My daughter is about to turn 3 and I thought I would share some life lessons I have learned from her.  Some of them make me smile and some of them are just facts of living with a two/almost three year old.  Nevertheless, as she grows and learns each day, I grow and learn from her. Enjoy!

Stop and smell the roses:  Austin has tons of hiking trails that we like to enjoy on the weekends.  Whenever we go on a hike Be Be drags along behind us picking up every acorn, rock and stick she can find.  She stops to play in the dirt and water.  She points out every bug.  She also loves to point out the beautiful flowers along the way.  More often than not, I had not even noticed them when I had walked past them.  She makes me pause and I need that.

 

woman-546103_640

Take your time eating/ Savor every bite:  The child can drag breakfast out into a two hour ordeal if I let her, but she enjoys it so much. She sings. She plays with her food.  She blows bubbles in her drink (gross I know). What I am saying is she can really enjoy herself at the table. She is very underweight for her age so I encourage  prolonged eating time because that means she is eating more food.  I watch her savor every bite (of the things she likes that is) and try new things as well.  I realized the other day that as an adult, I barely taste my food.  I am always in such a hurry that eating seems like another chore or item to cross off of my to do list.

 

watermelon-846357__180

 

Nap time is a beautiful time:  Often nap time is the only time I have to do things I want to do, like write this blog post. About three weeks ago, Be Be decided to stop napping.  I still put her down for nap time, but she just lays there talking up a storm and playing with her stuffed animals.  Instead of napping until 3PM like she once did, she now sings and plays until 2:30 then starts yelling that she needs to go potty or starts to cry. I then have to stop what I am doing and go get her.  But today, she napped and it was a beautiful thing.  I got to work on this blog post.  I got to read a few blog posts and I even got to talk on the phone with a friend of mine, uninterrupted.  It was so, so, so nice.  I am going to miss nap time whenever it finally ends for good.  But for now it is nice.  It is my quiet time and as well as hers and I plan to fight the death of nap time as long as I can.

 

baby-348552_640

Disappointment is really sucks:  I guess we all know this, but in a two year old, disappointment is even harder to stomach.  Think tantrums: unfathomable tantrums filled with screams and tears and the stomping of little feet.  As adults, we have sort of become immunized to it.  Disappointment happens to us so often all throughout our lives we have just gotten use to it.  Disappointments have become battle scars to us and we don’t REALLY  feel the sting of them anymore.  Yes, it sucks when it happens, but it isn’t like crushing your puppy kind of disappointment. Yet, for a two year old every disappointment is just as devastating as the last one.

 

girl sadness

The party starts when you get there so, take your time:  These days trying to get out the door before 10AM is impossible.  Breakfast takes and hour or two (see above).  I’ve gotten pretty good at dressing her efficiently, but still getting out the door can take time.  Lately it has been about the potty.  We will be all set to go and she will inevitably tell me she has to go potty.  Which requires a full below the waist undressing, including shoes.  Shoes that I spent 15min trying to get on her feet in the first place.  Then of course its 10min on the potty followed by another 15 to 20 min of chasing her around trying to put her clothes and shoes back on.  It can take a lot of time and effort to get out of the door is all I’m saying.  All the while my brain is ticking with this invisible clock screaming “we are going to be late!”  But not to her.  To her it is simply a game.  Fun times of Mommy chasing her and watching Dinosaur Train while using the potty.  She doesn’t care about being late because to her the party starts when she gets there whenever that is.

 

chasing

There is so much more I have learned from my little girl who is about to be 3, but these are just the highlights.  Everyday she grows and challenges me to see the world through the eyes of a child.