Tuesday, January 21, 2014

There is a reason that PTSD starts with the letters PT, aka Potty Training so far...

We started potty training this week, and I was a total wreck Sunday night with nerves and anxiety. My first foray into the potty training experience was a long time ago- I made an attempt when Noah was 16 months old. I did one of those super-intensive 5 day programs where you berate your child every 5 seconds asking her if she has to pee and you don't stray 2 feet from them for a week straight. I almost committed myself- I was so emotional and exhausted I was fit for a straight jacket by weeks end. Noah hated me, I hated life, there was pee EVERYWHERE. To make matters worse she actually caught on, and by the end of the week she was going #1 in the potty, but #2 didn't catch on. So, not only did I have to endure the hell that was that week, I had to suffer the slap in the face that was taking her out of panties and putting her back in pull-ups. The decision which, of course, resulted in complete and total regression. A year later and I'm still scarred, hence my apprehensive state Sunday evening. I also knew that I was going to be furious if it didn't take. She pees and poops in the potty every day- I know she can do it. She goes at school, she goes at home- but only when we tell her to, and when we don't she is perfectly content to sit around in her own piss and crap (those words seem appropriate in this description). Lately we've caught a break- she's had multiple instances of upset stomach and it burns her little tushy skin. While I felt bad for my little angelface schmookumhead- I totally capitalized on it. "Sweetie, when you pee and poop in your pull-ups that is what happens..it hurts you because pee and poo aren't supposed to be on your skin, and Mommy and Daddy have told you over and over again to go potty in the toilet, so this is really your fault." I know shaming your kid is the equivalent of SNL's "Dissing your Dog" but desperate times call for desperate measures. I'm pleased to say that as far as the using the bathroom portion of potty training goes we've been moderately successful. One accident day 1, and one accident day 2- both #1's! I'm still having to make her go, she won't make the decision herself, but I'm hoping that comes with time. She didn't go #2 at all the first day. Chad and I were on pins and needles when she woke up with an empty pull-up this morning, every weird noise she made we were on top of her "You're not pooping, are you!?!?" My big girl didn't have a #2 accident, though- I asked her to try after lunch and we had huge success. The funniest moment of my day was sending Chad this picture in an email:

Now, as far as the being stuck inside a house alone with my 2 1/2 year old all day portion of potty-training goes- it could be better. My bestie is a teacher and calls when she is leaving school around 4ish, she can vouch that by late afternoon I'm hanging by a thread of sanity dangling over a pit of crazy as loon. Why is it that the daunting task of potty training needs to occur at the age when our precious dears are at their most annoying and trying? I can only imagine it's so that when they are teenagers yelling at you, and breaking rules, and completely disappointing you to the point of no return- they're also not crapping all over your house. It's the only logical explanation. My saving grace has been the gym in the evenings. Hubby was under strict instruction to not dawdle after work and head straight home to relieve me of my house arrest. I've had the most amazing work outs of my life the past two nights- I'm so glad to be out of the house and released from having to constantly stare at Noah's crotch- it's ridiculous. Alas, tomorrow is mid-week. I've really put the pressure on for no accidents tomorrow. Say some prayers. For both of us! xoxo Layne

P.S. In case you don't get the "Dissing you Dog" reference...here is a link- there is a "bleeped" expletive so if you are not comfortable with that then don't watch it.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

I'm scared in my own home.

So we officially have the creepiest kid. Ever. Eh-vurr. Noah has perfected the art of super stealthy, totally creepster, dark corner-lurking, sneaking through our house- at ALL hours of the day and night. She is half peeping Tom half ninja assassin. It started innocently enough...I think all parents with toddlers know the absolutely scared shitless (pardon my French) feeling of groggily opening your eyes from slumber to a head less than an inch from your face. Even better is a eerie sing-song "Mooommmyyyy" echoing in the pitch black dark of a hallway beckoning you out of REM sleep. Next it evolved into unplanned games of hide and seek, and by unplanned I mean that she just decides without notice to hide silently for several minutes until you realize that she is nowhere to be found. Enter panic mode and check the bathtubs, garage, front and back yard...then I'm running from room to room looking under beds, in closets, attic cubbies, etc until I see the tiniest movement out of the corner of my eye and realized she has flattened herself to the bed and perfectly bunched up all of the covers so that I've have been in her room for over 5 minutes two separate times and she's been there the whole time undetected, and frankly completely unconcerned with the sound of panic and terror in my voice.
Lately, however, it's reached new heights. I can't even sleep at night anymore for fear that she is hiding in the shadows of our bedroom, or lurking in the hallway just outside our door waiting for the right moment to attack. Chad is having nightmares about her waking us up every hour or so- but at least he's able to sleep soundly enough to have the nightmares. Putting her to bed at all has become a little dance, she probably gets up twice before we threaten to lock her door or take her blanky and then she decides to stay put for the night....or at least that's what she wants you to think. For example, last week we did the bedtime dance and finally got her down, Chad and I made a pallet on the living room floor and put on one of our shows (White Collar, maybe?) about 1/2 hour later I think I hear the stairs creek so I tell Chad to go check, he looks for a while and returns to say that it wasn't her....but I know better...I tell him that it was her but that she heard him coming and like the ninja that she is snuck away to a hiding place to watch him. He laughed. Another hour later (if you are counting that's an hour and a half after bedtime) I look to see a face in the shadows of our unlit hallway crouched down beside our antique secretary. She is silent. She is still. She is SO scary. Chad is floored. "I TOLD YOU!!!" I proclaim- Chad asks Noah where she is been and how long she has been awake. She is silent. (still creepy) I ask, "Noah, did you hide from Daddy when he was looking for you on the stairs earlier?" she nods "Where were you hiding?" she doesn't blink, she doesn't speak, she slowly lifts her hand and extends it to point to our pitch black dining room. BOOM. Creepiest. Kid. EVER. I'm now taking Tylenol PM and Melatonin to try and sleep at night. It's a good thing she is so cute during the day, or I'd be forced to take her back to the store and ask for a refund. Just kidding. xoxo Layne

Using our tablet under a blanket. Every horror movie ever made tells me a child under a white blanket is  NO GOOD.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

the special moments of motherhood that you are never prepared for...

I had to go to a neighboring town today to pick up a bed frame from someone selling it on Craigslist. I packed Noah in the car and headed out into a disgusting day of clouds and rain. Noah is still very much into the idea of Christmas. She still demands I sing "Away in a Manger" every night before bed, she still make believes that she is Santa every day and tells me I'm on the naughty list, and she still wants to watch "Mickey Saves Santa" any time she gets the chance. As we are driving down a back road she asks about baby Jesus in the manger. "Where is baby Jesus and his manger?" I tell her that He's not in the manger anymore, that he grew up, and now He's in heaven with Heavenly Father. She replies "What do Mary and Joseph say?" I answer that Mary and Joseph are in Heaven with Him. They are all together. Then she says "Well, how did He get there?" I stop. My mind is racing- I don't want to make up a baby-like watered down story to placate her, but I don't know if she'll understand what I really want her to know- so I just start talking and pray for the Spirit to be in the car with us. When Jesus grew up He had something big to do, and that big thing was that He had to die. He died for you and me and it hurt Him, but He died so that you and daddy and mommy could live with Him forever. It was really hard and He had to leave His mommy, but it was the best and nicest thing anyone has ever done, ever. He did it because He loves us more than anyone ever has. She didn't even blink. "I don't like that story, Mommy." I start cracking up- she is so honest, and I know exactly what she means. I don't like a lot about that story, it's a hard and truthful story to learn, even for adults, but I love my Savior. "Tell me another Jesus story." is what she says next...Ok, when Jesus was a grown-up  he traveled all over and taught people about Heavenly Father and he saw lots of sick and sad people and he healed them and made them better with His power from Heavenly Father. "He gave them medicine?" No, he touched them and talked to them and they got better magically, Jesus could make miracles happen. "Tell me another Jesus story! I love them!" she giggles. So next I tell her about the loaves and fish, and some more miracles that our Savior performed, and she was so pleased and happy to learn about Him that I just about died with pride and love. In the pouring rain, with no sun, on our way to a Craiglist house where I could have totally been killed by the Craigslist killer- I had one of the most tender and special conversations I have had in a long time. Being a mom is the best. Ever. xoxo Layne

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

times...they are achanging...

I don't think there was a single minute of 2013 that I didn't feel (and see) blessings from the Lord, the capstone of which was coming to an agreement with my employer that I would spend 2014 working from home. Prepared to be let go, I approached my benevolent boss and laid it on the line: I love this job, but I've been commuting for a year, and I just can't do it anymore. I want to work for you, but I just can't do it from the office. I was extremely flattered and grateful when he said he wanted to make it work. I'm sure there will be some kinks to work out- and it may not last long, but I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to continue to contribute to our household income while dropping the drive and getting more time to be with the hubs and butter bean.

The idea of working from home was really intimidating. I've been doing it part time for a while now, but the other part of time I was in the office so I never got out of the loop. Now I have to worry about keeping communication flowing, not letting anyone down, staying organized and scheduled...so far so good, but still it's a little overwhelming to sort out at first. Even more than the working part scares me the home part scares me even more! All December I wrestled with thoughts of- will hubs expect the house to look like Martha Stewart cleaned it? Because Martha, I aint. Or, will I get sick of being around Noah and start to loose patience with her when she doesn't deserve it? Can I stick to a budget that will accommodate our reduced income, and the online shopping that will taunt me daily? I prayed for guidance and consolation, and talked it out with hubs and by Jan 1 I was more at peace with the new territory that was before me.

One of my personal goals for this year will be to take some of the time that I'm saving by not having to commute and blog a little. About me, about the fam, about how the new work situation is going- anything really. I want to take advantage of how therapeutic sitting here and typing and posting these thoughts and updates into the unknown can be. My current update: the house is disheveled from a week of neglect while we've shared the dreaded norovirus with each other, laundry is caught up because we washed everything in the house, and I've been busy at work planning for January and February. Good but not great! Still, I'm excited for this year. I am sensing good things to come!