potty training sucks.

Potty training twins. It’s not for the faint of heart. There were will be tears and occasionally the kids will cry too. Whatever preconceived notion you have of how it will go? Throw it out the door right now. I’m serious. Like open your front door and throw imaginary ideas out of it and slam it shut. They have no place in the potty training business. Your child (or children as the case may be) is going to go thru the process as best they know how. They aren’t reading any step-by-step manuals. They are simply doing what feels right and comfortable to them.

That said…this process is going to suck. A lot. When I finally got pregnant most of my friends already had an infant or toddler so when we finally reached the potty training, there was so much advice. These moms sounded so matter of fact about it all. Like, you do this, then this and then that and all will be well.

Well, all WASN’T and ISN’T well. I’m not writing this to give anyone advice. I seriously don’t have any. Just want to let you know that if you are miserable and hating life and gagging everytime you have to clean up another poopy underwear, well…you are not alone.

I don’t know how fair it is to my children to be specific so I’m not going to specify what child is doing what. Child A is potty trained. It wasn’t an easy start or middle. But at least it had an end. They are doing great. No accidents. Well, there was one but it was a fluke and I think they were testing me because their sibling was already having so many. They are acting their age. They are potty trained. Halle-freakin-lujah.

Child B is defying all logic. All normal assumptions about the potty training process. I want to pull my hair out each and every day. Seriously the only thing that’s keeping me from totally losing it is the thought that all kids are potty trained before high school. Because seriously, it may take us that long. It already feels that long. If there is an issue to be addressed with potty training, we are dealing with it. And I hate it. I don’t hate my child, lets be clear about this. What I hate is that they are going thru something seemingly traumatic and I have no idea how to help them. I’m reading books, articles, reaching out to friends for advice and nothing, nada. We are making no progress. In fact, our lack of progress has actually caused us to regress. Which totally and completely sucks. Seriously though, there IS a limit to how many poopy pairs of underwear I can clean up in a day. That limit was reached…many times.

I’m writing this in hopes that I will have some progress, some happy news to report back SOON. Like this summer soon, not this year soon, but if we can have happy news to report in the year 2015 I’ll call that a win.

TTFN.

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Christmas 2.0

My in-laws aren’t able to make it to our home for Christmas due to health concerns so we agreed to have a 2nd celebration in January with the whole family.2015/01/img_4135.jpgMy kids have only been to their paternal grandparent’s house a few times so each time we visit it seems entirely new to them. My mother in law keeps a large stash of toys on hand for the grandkids and they had a blast exploring the toy bin.

It was also a lot of fun to dress up in Christmas outfits once again.2015/01/img_4143.jpg

2015/01/img_4136.jpgAs you can see, someone likes to choose their own shoes.

There is a large play structure in the backyard constructed specifically for the grandkids and I think this was probably my kids first time playing on it. 2015/01/img_4140.jpgChristmas at my in-laws has, in the past, been a bit of a scene. In the past few years we have all agreed to scale back on the gift giving and concentrate on being together. My kids were able to see all their cousins on that side of the family and they had an absolute blast with them.

I’m already seeing the impact of my One Little Word® CLEAN. I went into this family gathering with no expectation or grudges or anything and we had a fabulous time. At the end of the meal I helped out by CLEANing off the dining table. In years past my mother in law has requested we not do that but this year I felt a need to do it. Speaking with her on the phone today she thanked me and sounded genuinely grateful about it (rather than annoyed). After such a large family gathering I know the toll that takes on her emotionally and knew she wouldn’t be up for doing any heavy cleaning.

It was a truly wonderful celebration and I am grateful to have such a large family to celebrate holidays with.

One Little Word® 2015

I am really excited to start on Ali Edwards One Little Word® project this year. Ali Edwards is a major creative force in the scrapbooking and Project Life world. I’ve known of her for awhile now and followed her blog. I’ve seen this project and known other bloggers that do it each year but it always just felt like something extra on my plate, something that I didn’t want to add to the mix. This year though, it felt right.

For whatever the reason, it feels like my life is finally coming together. I went back and forth on what word I was going to choose and the word CLEAN was really speaking to me. Initially I thought about simple or simplify or cleanse but the word CLEAN is just what I needed I believe. CLEAN out my old life, CLEAN out the mistakes I’ve made and am still holding onto (thus punishing myself continuously). CLEAN out the old Erin to make way for the new. I could make New Year’s resolutions that I won’t keep, more promises to break. Or I could start a journey of figuring out who I am and where I want to be.

With the kids starting kindergarten in just under two years, things are really moving forward for us. The kids are getting more mature and taking care of more and more on their own. I can actually ask them to complete tasks on themselves (brush teeth, put on socks & shoes, hang up coat, etc). They no longer nap so they go to bed early which gives us a nice long evening to relax. But also it has made us realize they will be at Jackson Elementary soon enough and we would like to stay in this house longer. If that is going to happen things will need to change a bit. The house needs to be CLEAN. We need to make it work for our family of 4 which includes 2 rapidly growing children.

Of course that is not the only explanation for the word CLEAN. I’ve been working at staying on my medication which helps me have a CLEAN mind. I haven’t been running although I really hope to return to that. It has many meanings to me. CLEAN in the home, CLEAN of the mind, CLEAN of the soul, CLEAN of the body, CLEAN of the heart, a CLEAN slate in my relationships CLEAN bed to get into at night, CLEAN kitchen to cook CLEAN food in, CLEAN spaces for my children to play in, CLEAN office for my husband to work in
CLEAN attitude in disciplining my children, CLEANing out the bookshelves by removing those I’ve read and reading those I haven’t, CLEAN out the office and my crafts stash by using only supplies I have on hand for OLW and other scrapbooking projects.

I know there are many more ways to describe how I plan to see the word CLEAN be used in my life but I think this is a pretty great place to start. I can’t wait to see where this word takes me on my journey this year. This is the year to be CLEAN.

Please stay tuned for updates on this project on my YouTube channel which you can access HERE.