Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Potty Training Boot Camp & Tool-Kit

Hey ya'll!
We began our absolute last attempt at potty training Rainbow today!  She is 3 years and 2 months old, so it's about time.  We've tried before, but I realized that she wasn't ready.  The last time we tried, she was able...but not willing.  This time she's excited and I really believe a lot of it is due to her speech therapy.  I'm sure that sounds odd.  But our biggest obstacle thus far has been communication.  She couldn't understand me and I couldn't understand her.  It just wasn't working.  She has been in speech therapy now for about a month or two and she's made significant progress in her speech!  Now she is able and willing to potty, and able to communicate with me.  Yay!

We are on day 1.
  We started off the day in pull-ups because I didn't decide until about 1 o'clock to start the actual potty training boot camp, thanks to the motivation of my good friend, Kimberli.  So the chart below says pull-ups and 4 of the stickers under "potty w/ wet pull-up" were from earlier when she could just pee in her pull-up and get away with it.  So before I started, I quickly gathered up materials for the car.  I tossed her 'Cheer For Me Potty' (Fisher Price), wipes, two changes of clothes, and an extra pack of underwear in the trunk of my car for those "to-go" moments.  You know, when they've got to go potty and there is not one anywhere nearby.  Car being potty training prepped?  Check.

After I came back in, I gathered all the indoor supplies.  Lots of older pairs of underwear passed down from  my dear friend, Josie?  Check.  Princess potty seat?  Check.  Step stool Rainbow got from her Uncle Marcus and soon-to-be Aunt Megan for her birthday?  Check.  Rainbow's home-made potty chart made from excess poster-board that we didn't use at her birthday party?  Check.   Dora stickers I bought for this purpose, stuck up on top of the fridge, and then forgot about?  Check.  Leftover Hershey's chocolate bars from the smores we made a week or two ago, to be used for reward?  Check.  Anything else I needed?  Yes, I still needed to let Brooklyn pick out some brand new panties and choose her reward candy.  A short trip to Walmart after her speech therapy took care of those items.  

So it begins...dun, dun, dun!
Rainbow was officially wearing panties by 2pm.  I hid her pull-ups and told her that I didn't know where they went, so we were going to have to wear panties like a big girl now.  She didn't object, at all.  Sweet!  She had two accidents at first, but just barely peed in them before she started yelling, "Pee Pee!  Pee Pee!!!!".  We ran for the potty.  As she pulled her soiled panties off she exclaimed, "YUCK!  Ewww...GROSS!"  Awesome - just the reaction I wanted.  She finished peeing in the potty both times!  Yay! Rainbow gets a piece of chocolate and a sticker of her choice for her chart.  Suddenly, she is all in and excited to go potty!  She went to speech therapy and Walmart, no accident.  We came home and she took a nap, no accident.  Immediately after the nap I asked her if she needed to go potty, to which she replied a hefty "No".  Then she had a small accident, darted for the bathroom, and finished in the potty!  Yay, Rainbow!  You still get a reward because you tried, good job!  We went the rest of the evening without any accidents!!!  She even got up out of bed 3 times needing to go potty so she didn't pee in her panties.  Given, now she's having some trouble sleeping because she doesn't want to go in her panties or miss out on her chocolate treat.  But this shall pass.  Needless to say, Day 1 is going wonderful!  Keep us in your prayers that Day 2 goes even better.  

Our Toolkit:

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Things My Divorce Taught Me

Well ya'll, I'm officially a single mother now, as of a week ago.  I can't really say that its much different than the separation was other than the fact that I am, indeed, single again.  It's so odd to not be Mrs. anymore.  Do I need that little "r" to be in my name to be whole?  Certainly not.  In a lot of ways, I'm reconnecting with myself again.  Ya'll know what I'm talking about.  Getting back in touch with "Who" you really are, and not in conjunction with a relationship.  I used to find so much of my self-worth in my identity as a wife, as a mother, as a military spouse.  But now I'm really getting the chance to reconnect with me, just as I am.  I'm listening to my country music now and I'm darn proud of it.  I'm not trying to force myself to like rock music to make someone else happy.  I'm getting back to my roots, enjoying the southern country-ness that I grew up in.  I'm not trying to hide my accent and become more interested in other lifestyles to keep someone else's attention.  I'm doing things I want to do and spending my time how I'd like to now.  I'm not spending all my spare time doing only the things that someone else is interested in so that they will want to spend time with me.  

My divorce has taught me a lot.  I truly believe that although it was intensely difficult, I have become a better and stronger person because of it.  First off, I've learned that I should never have to change who I am and what I'm about to attract and keep my man.  I'm not saying I had to change to attract my ex.  But rather, that I had to change a lot of things in order to keep him and his attention.  He wanted someone who he could share the things he liked with and them be interested in it too.  Well, we never saw eye to eye on that and it should've been a red flag.  Our interests were so different and I thought I'd grow to like the things he did or at least get used to them.  I guess I succeeded in that, therefore losing that part of myself in the process.  Moral of the story:  Find someone who likes the things you like.  Opposites may attract, but find difficulty staying together if both parties are not 100% invested in the relationship.  There is also much to be said about give and take.  It's hard when you give, give, give...and never receive.  Trust me.

Second, I've learned to not be so naive.  Don't just blindly trust someone!  Seriously, this was one of my biggest mistakes.  I took the man at his word, without a doubt in my mind.  Biggest mistake ever.  Make someone prove to you that they are trustworthy.  Make them prove themselves, that they will really be there when you need them too.  They may say all the right things, have all the right words, and the best excuses that could probably be the truth.  But actions speak one hundred-billion times louder than words.  Watch what they do.  Do they answer when you call?  When you desperately need that shoulder to cry on, are they  supposedly "busy"?  Of course there will be the moments when they truly are, but how often is this the reason?  Do their stories add up?  Seriously, do the math.  How long do they take to respond to you?  And if you find yourself thinking, "Well he's just trying to play it cool so he doesn't seem that attached.", or whatever excuse you make for him...think about it.  Do you really want someone who is going to avoid you and play mind games?  I mean, if you want to stay in the dating scene or you want to get in a serious relationship that's doomed to fail, go right ahead.  But if you want something serious, a lasting, life-long relationship with that person...think twice.  I'm telling you from personal experience...if they do it when you are getting together, they will do it throughout your relationship.  They will play games to test you, get what they want, or get the information they want - and it's all for personal gain and satisfaction without a care in the world about how it effects you or your emotions.  Personally, I don't know about ya'll...but I want someone who is going to be upfront and honest with me.  No mind games, no waiting for this and that to happen first, no stringing you along until they find someone to replace you.  Honest, upfront, blunt.  I want to hear, "This is what I'm looking for, this is what I want, this is where I want this to go.  This is what I don't want, this is what I'm trying to avoid, and if xyz is what you are looking for - then feel free to hit the road.  No hard feelings, just a friendship, take care of yourself and better luck next time."  I will do this for anyone else, too.  Maybe it's bold and forward, but it gets business taken care of without all of the unnecessary emotional tension in between.  No one wants to feel things for someone, be made a fool, and have their time wasted.  Life is short.  Why wait in anticipation for something that's not meant to be and won't work out? 

Third, marriage is not for the faint or weary of heart.  It takes two strong and grounded people to make a marriage work.  It takes two people who are willing to fight the good fight till the end, no matter what comes their way.  It takes two people who will never give up on each other.  It takes two people going into it with their eyes and hearts wide open.  It takes two people who will love each other unconditionally - even when they don't feel "in love", even when they look horrible, even when they are sick, even when they are at their worst and lowest - no matter what!  Marriage is not something to take lightly.  When you say, "I do" - it's forever.  If you don't feel like you are in love with your spouse anymore, you stick it out till you fall back in love with them again.  A successful marriage happens when two people fall in love many, many times in a lifetime - but always with the same person!  It takes two people willing to compromise, bend a little, give in a little, sacrifice a little.  It takes two people who will put the other's best interests and feelings above their own.  Simply put.  Not all the flowery feelings and sweet nothings, though they are nice.  But true love - defined by action as well as words, unconditionally, forever.  If that is not something you are willing to do, commit to, and dedicate yourself and your life to...then don't get married.  And if you know you would do all of this, but are unsure of your significant other's desire or ability to do all those things...then don't get married.  Trust me when I tell you that you can have all this in your heart, but if the apple of your eye isn't doing the will end, painfully.  

Don't get me wrong, ya'll.  Love is a beautiful, many splendid thing.  God knows that it is one of my heart's deepest desires to find real love and have the kind of marriage I've described above.  It's something I've yet to find anywhere but in my dreams.  But I do hope to find it someday...and sooner than later in my personal opinion.  I'd love to have a partner in life, to feel like my family was complete again, and have someone alongside me to raise my beautiful girls.  But if that's not coming anytime soon, that's ok.  And if its not in the cards for me at all, that's ok too.  I've learned, like Paul said, that I need to be content in whatever situation I'm in.  If I'm married, be content.  If I'm single, be content.  Life is now.  This moment is here at this time and I'll never have it again.  I can't go back to yesterday.  I can't go forward to tomorrow.  All I have is right now.  So I'm going to have the best, most amazing right now...right now!  Let go of the past, let go of your worries, and live in the moment.  It's literally all you've got.  So make it the best you possibly can and love every minute of it!  :)


This video is of my oldest child, Rainbow.  She was doing her "Georgia Peaches Dance".  It's way...too...cute.

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