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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.

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.

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!

Hello world!

Welcome to my corner of the blogosphere! I hope that you like it here and find it interesting.  I am a Cajun girl uprooted to Austin, Texas.  Aside from being a proud Cajun (hence the GEAUX) I am a wife and mother.  My husband has a day job but is also an artist and my daughter (BB) is an active 2.5 year old girl. I am a Stay At Home Mom (SAHM) and we live very modestly on a tight budget with a very frugal lifestyle and common goals.  I am also trying to drop some pounds that I have gained during my stint as a stay as a SAHM and hope to use this as an accountability partner.  This blog is about being a Cajun SAHM,  living an active and healthy lifestyle on a budget while trying to find some extra income.  Ideas are welcome.