Little did I realize just how unprepared I was for the nuances of this particular endeavor. I was reflecting last night and suddenly realized just how little I know about the whole process: I've never been close to anyone who was potty training at the time, nor have I ever even trained a puppy!
And my extremely clever daughter has taken advantage of my naivety. We realized last night that she has discovered she can pretty much make a little pee come out whenever she wants. So she started going potty (just a teeny amount), getting her treat of two mini-marshmallows, stuffing them in her mouth as she runs back to the potty to "go potty again". Another teeny tinkle and she is back for more marshmallows.
I'm learning quickly.
I've decided we're going to use a timer. At first I'm going to set the timer for every 15 minutes, at which time we'll go sit on the potty for 3-4 minutes to make sure she empties her bladder. (That's another problem we're having -- she goes, jumps up excitedly when the first little bit comes out, then 5 minutes later has an accident somewhere in the house). Then, after a day or two of getting that part down, I'll gradually increase the time between potty sessions. At first I had her in loose dresses that made it easy for her to make it to the potty, but I think I'm going to switch tactics. I'm going to put her in clothes that make it very uncomfortable to have an accident, so that she quickly learns that it matters if she makes it to the potty or not! :o)
That's my new game plan. We'll see if it works any better than our current approach. It can't work much worse!
I'm baa-aack. As much as I enjoy the conveniently quick nature of Facebook, I have missed the more journalistic side of blogging that Pleonast offers. Plus, some of you regular pleovians don't update your Facebooks very often, and I've missed hearing what you're up to! So...I'm not sure how often I'll be getting on Pleo, but I'll try to update occasionally.
A wise, experienced mother once told me that motherhood is the greatest lesson in selflessness that you will ever experience. Now, as the mother of two little ones who fill my days with diapers, dishes, and dirty clothes, I am getting almost hourly lessons in that very important quality. Most days, I am happy if I can just take a shower by myself for 5 minutes. I am trying to learn to embrace these challenges -- to realize that with each day, I am gaining important lessons that refining me into the kind of Christian woman that God would have me be. It is a painful process to shed self at times. Some days I do it joyfully, reaping the rich rewards of motherhood. Other days - I struggle. I don't remember where I first heard the phrase, but I keep trying to remind myself to completely spend myself for my family. To empty my hands and my heart of my own desires, and turn every bit of energy I have into serving others (especially those in my own home) as God would have me do.
In many ways, this month is a new page for our family. The past 9 months really defy words or description. They represent the toughest period of our life to date. Unemployment, cross-country move, new job, new city, living with friends until a month before our baby was born, home remodel that didn't go quite as we planned, pregnancy, c-section. It's been tough. Very tough.
Yet, God is good. He is great and mighty. He has abundantly blessed us, despite the intensity of our challenges these past months. We have found an incredibly supportive and wonderful congregation to worship with, we've been surrounded by amazing friends and family who dropped everything to help us when we so desperately needed it. Not to mention we have an affectionate, energetic, bright-eyed daughter who begins each day with a zest for life that is contagious and a happy, contented, cheerful son who brightens each hour with his kissable smiles and coos and laughs. We are rich. Our days are filled with love, laughter, affection, and snuggles.
My prayer is that I would learn to be a worthy steward of this richness. To care for the hearts in my keeping in a way that would bring glory and honor to the Giver of all blessings. To show my children the beauty of God's love so deeply in our home that they will want nothing more than to serve Him all their lives. To be a gentle and submissive wife, one that my husband can trust with everything. To apply Christ's example of selflessness in every area of my life.
"Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name," Philippians 2:3-9
That is my prayer.
Thank you everyone for your advice, love, and encouragement from my previous post. It helped tremendously!
This morning as I delivered 450-some-odd papers, I thought I would give you a glimpse into some of the more humorous aspects of delivering the newspaper at 3am. Every morning. Every day of the year.
Here are a few reasons I am glad the papers get delivered so early in the morning (before most people are up)
--No one sees me accidentally nail the nice BMW with the paper I just threw. No scratches....whew!
--No one saw me Sunday when I threw a paper a little too hard, causing it to explode out the other end of the plastic sleeve and rain like confetti all over the driveway. Ooops.
--No one saw Aarron take out an entire post because he whipped around the driveway too quickly. Nice babe.
--I don't have to do anything but throw sweats and a sweatshirt on.
--The donuts at the famous Donut House are uber-fresh! We indulge once a week.....yummm. Apparently the guy who brings our papers from the main office goes there almost every morning. In fact, this morning when Aarron ran into him there, he was sporting an authentic "Donut House" tshirt. If you lived up here, you would be amazed that we can limit it to once a week (most of the time). They are that delicious.
--The cops just wave to you -- even though you aren't wearing a seat belt and you are driving the wrong way down the major street in town, disregarding stop signs and various other traffic controls with reckless abandon. At 3am, as long as you are being safe, they don't care. They get to know what your car looks like.
--No one saw me nearly jump out of my skin as I went to get out of the car to do a porch delivery and realized there was a huge black-tailed deer standing right by me.
--No one has witnessed the handful of times I've went to throw a paper, only to have it catch on my window frame and land on my own car windshield. Pathetic. I know.....
Of course, the worst one was when I pulled into someone's driveway who happened to be up. I think he had been outside smoking in his bathrobe, but he scurried inside as soon as I pulled up. I threw his paper as normal, only this time, instead of landing in the driveway, it somehow ended up smacking into one of their front windows with a reverberating thud. I think the whole house shook. I was mortified. I have never done that before or since. Of course he just had to be awake and standing right on the other side of the front door. I don't think I have ever gotten a tip from him......
Well, that is my attempt at the humorous. There are so many other things I could share, but some of it you would just have to be there to appreciate. :o)
Yes, I have posted a new entry! I know...you thought your eyes were playing tricks on you when you saw I had a new entry. :o)
These days I have little time for faithful Pleo. For the past almost 11 months, I have been in a really difficult cycle of trying to keep up with all the demands of motherhood, marriage, and life in general.
If you know me at all, I am, at my core, a perfectionist. I am incredibly hard on myself. For the past nearly 11 months, I have had some pretty intense struggles just keeping up on laundry, dishes, and meals. Much of this comes with the territory as a new mommy, I know. So, for these past months, the dialog in my head has been one of failure. I have poured my heart into trying to be "better" at getting things done. If I was only more organized...if only I would do the dishes instead of stop to eat lunch...if only I stayed up until midnight several nights a week, I could be a good wife and keep my home in some semblance of order. Each time I failed to get things done, I felt it was all my fault. I just wasn't working hard enough or something.
Lately, though, I had grown rather desperate. No matter how hard I tried, I was always behind. My faults are many, and I struggle with organization, but if you only knew how much energy I was pouring in to trying to overcome those. Each week, I still was behind.
This week I broke down. First to Aarron, then on Sunday with my Mom. I finally acknowledged that there was a reality to my situation that was not my fault. You see, Emma doesn't nap. She takes two 30 minute catnaps during the day. Just enough time to use the restroom, grab a bite to eat, say a prayer, and maybe wash a handful of dishes. Aarron works four 10 hour shifts, and we try to go to bed early because of delivering papers. He has been so supportive and helpful, but I am keenly aware that each time he has to do the laundry or the dishes, it is eating away at the little time he has to study, spend time with Emma, and actually relax.
I have struggled with envy over my friends whose kids take two 1-2 hour naps each day. They have a life. They can do a hobby, or finish a full load of laundry. I know jealousy is wrong, but I was just so tired. Of feeling like a failure. Of staying up until midnight several nights a week, even though I have to get up at 3am to deliver newspapers, just to try and get on top of things. Of the projects and meaningful things of life pushed to the back burner because I simply had no time.
Every once and a while, Aarron suggested that maybe I take my mom up on watching Emma more often. But in my perfectionist-focused brain, that felt like a crutch. That the real problem was me, and passing Emma off on my family was only a band-aid solution to a much deeper personal problem.
Slowly, I have come to realize that it is not all me. I have a daughter who doesn't really nap. That is the reality of my life as Emma's mom. (We've tried so many things to help her sleep longer, but nothing works yet. We're still trying....) On Sunday, I finally acknowledged that I needed help. If my mom wasn't close by and willing to watch Emma, the problem is so real that I would likely need to hire someone to come over for an hour or two a day, a few days a week, to give me time to do the little things: plan a dinner menu, clean the bathroom, wash dishes, vacuum.
Suddenly, my world is more balanced. For two mornings, I have dropped Emma off at my parent's home on the way back from delivering newspapers. I've been able to finish a few lingering projects, and this morning I got to exercise. My house is reasonably clean, so much so that I can manage the upkeep throughout the day with Emma here. Bills are paid and neatly filed away. Life is good again.
Most of all, I am peaceful inside. I don't have that little voice whispering of my daily failures in my head. A huge burden is off my shoulders.
I still have all my old weaknesses. I do want and need to be more organized and more efficient at the duties of my life as a wife and mother. I want to embrace every aspect of my role in my home and excel. Now I finally have the time to devote some energy to those pursuits.
I started my post intending to talk lightly about Father's Day and all the fun doings of the past weeks. But this is the reality of my week. Perhaps by sharing this, I've encouraged another young mom who is struggling. I know I am not the only perfectionist. Maybe by sharing my struggles and why I didn't ask for help sooner, another person can see how they may be able to help a young mom cope with the particular challenges of their own home life.
I am so thankful to Aarron for being unfailingly supportive and helpful. When my own voice was wearing me down with pessimism, you have ever been my champion and a voice of encouragement. And to my mom...thank you for being there. For reaching through my tears and addressing the need -- not just my need for watching Emma, but my need for someone to tell me that it wasn't all my fault. I love you both and thank God for your presence in my life.
I have a good and gracious Heavenly Father who has been carrying me gently through the past months. His blessings have surrounded me, and despite my struggles, He has used this time in my life to sharpen my focus on Him. God is so good!
A month seems to fly by before I know it.....Here are just the highlights:
--Emma gives "kisses". Okay, so it looks more like she is trying to give us CPR, but we find it adorable, endearing, and can't seem to stop asking for more of them.
--My first Mother's Day was incredible. Aarron and my parents made me feel so special and valued, and the day was full of beautiful expressions of their love. My Mother's Day gift from Aarron was a manicure/pedicure and a 1 hour Swedish massage at the local spa. The massage turned out to be one of the few things that make me think...if only I was rich and famous. (Well, maybe not famous.....) I loved it! Definitely topped my list of wonderful things.
--David, Sarah, and Emily came out to visit. It was such a blessing to spend time with them, to continue to get to know the ever growing, ever changing little Emily, and just enjoy the gift of family.
--Emma is eating more solid foods - a lot more. It is so cute to see her feed herself Cheerios or steamed carrots. She is such a big girl now...I can hardly remember when she was a newborn!
--I learned I am going to be an aunt again!!! Brenda and Alan announced their wonderful news a few weeks ago and we are just so thrilled for them!
--We've been studying with a Jehovah's witness couple. Lord willing we can plant the seed of God's truth in their hearts and cause them to turn to Him.
I was going to take time to write a more developed update, but I find that I have some household things I really need to tend to. Thus the abbreviated list will have to do.