Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Yes Jesus Loves Potty

Boo likes the "Jesus Loves Me" song and loves to insert every word that he can think of for "me". It's funny all of the things that Jesus loves. According to Boo, He loves potty, Wally, mommy, daddy, his daycare friends, poo poo, Mickey Mouse Cluhouse (b omitted on purpose), tv, movie. The list could go on and on. I know I'm forgetting a ton here!

Speaking of potty, Boo continues to do excellent. I would say that his poo goes in the potty 95% of the time. His pee is probably about 80%. Many of the clothing changes he has are due to his aim on the potty versus wetting himself. So he really does pretty great. Weekends are hard. I don't know if it's because he started potty training on a daycare day and perhaps associates it with daycare, but he does much better on daycare days. The other reason could be that I'm very structured during the daycare week and very unstructured on the weekends. When we're out and about he doesn't really do great. Although, I did borrow a fold-up potty ring for big potties from a friend and he used that at the new house the other day. That's the first time he's cooperated with going on the big potty. I was so excited. I clapped my hands, jumped around, and pretty much looked like an idiot, all to the amusement of my two year old! Ah - the things we do to potty train our children.

Oh, and this has nothing to do with anything. But it wouldn't be my blog if I didn't ramble. Boo loves to name his body parts, especially the parts of his face. I always giggle when he gets to his "forkhead". And I NEVER correct him. I'm usually that parent that's vigilant to model appropriate pronunciation as opposed to encouraging the baby talk, but I just can't help myself with this one. It's just way too cute. He'll learn that it's called a forehead someday, hopefully before he goes to college!

Anyways, I need to run. Boo is supposed to be sleeping on his cot as his friends are doing. Instead, he's sitting in my glider telling himself a story that I made up when we started potty training in order to get him to sit on the potty long enough for something to happen. My child. He always gives me a rough time over napping! Once he's out though, he's out and he's a good sleeper. So it is worth the effort!

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Journey

I've been having fleeting thoughts of ending my blogging days and so I started reading past blogs. I feel a bit stunned by what I've found. My blog is a chronicle of my journey as a young mother at a time when I was changing from the inside out.

When I started my blog I realized that I was changing in some ways and I wanted a way to not only chronicle such change but to challenge myself to live a better, more responsible life. Motherhood is something that changed me deeply in some ways and not at all in other ways. I will say that motherhood brought out my hippy/crunchy side for lack of better terminology. But it's not as if that wasn't inside of me all along. I do think I've maintained the same core personality, and those who've known me for years can probably attest to that fact. I'm still the introverted girl whose goofy side comes out in a big way once I'm comfortable.

Motherhood brought me more in touch with my creative and crafty side. However, I will say that with all of the busyness in my life in the last year, I risk losing this. I'd like to find ways to bring this back into my life. I'd like to scrapbook, sew, and create as I did that first year or so of Boo's life. I know that I had so much more time for this sort of thing prior to starting the daycare. But there is a way to return to more balance in my life and I need to find it. I'd especially like to tackle Boo's scrapbook. I miss sitting with his photos and putting them on paper in a thoughtful way. There's something about the process that helps me feel connected to the memories that way. Does that sound weird? I have fabric and patterns that I bought when I was on my sewing kick. All I can say is that all of it is still sitting in the bags. I have piles of yarn and needles for all of those hats that I was going to make. I will find a way to create again.

Motherhood brought out an earthy side to me. From cloth diapering to aromatherapy to organic food choices, I have tried to learn to live on this earth a bit more gently. Some changes have stuck and some are a constant struggle. I adore cloth diapering and have no doubt that any future children will be cloth diapered. Yes - the laundry is hard to keep up with - but absolutely worth it. And today's cloth diapers have such a cuteness factor to them that it's actually a bit addicting. Aromatherapy is a constant in my life. I use my essential oils to scent my cleaners, soaps, breathe in during a cold, spray on the dog when I can't take his stench anymore, and many other ways. I really want an essential oil diffuser for the new house, but we'll see. I've actually considered several times taking an aromatherapy course so that I could be a certified aromatherapist, but that's something that would only be a blessing in the right time I think and that time is not now. Organic food has been a struggle. It's expensive. Especially now that the daycare is more full, I go through so much food and keeping things organic just doesn't happen around here the way that it used to. I continue to try, but I admit I've allowed a lot of processed junk back into our diets. Even if I could get back to more whole foods, organic or not, that would be a big improvement. This, as in the lack of creating, is also partly a busyness issue. It can seem so much easier and less time-consuming to toss something processed into the oven. However, I don't think this fact is as true as we think. It's not like it takes long to broil some tilapia or steam some asparagus.

Spiritually there has been a journey also. While spirituality and religion has never been the focus of this blog, it pops up enough times here and there for me to see the journey of where I've been and where I am currently. Even in the wandering I believe that God was leading me.

Looking back and seeing where I've come from makes me think that this blog is worth carrying on. Who will I be in two more years? Very likely I will be absolutely the same person when it comes to core personality, but I hope to be very different in terms of virtues and actions.

I hope that I can live more gently not just with Mother Earth, but with other people. I realize that my high expectations for myself I often extend to others. I may not be the most gentle person when someone lets me down or when I perceive that I've been stepped on. This is probably even more true if I feel someone is stepping on a friend of mine. I know that I have a very protective instinct when it comes to my friends. While overall I think this is a good thing, I'm working on being much more responsible and gentle with my reactions. I want to see more balance in my life, finding time for a crafty project or two every now and then. But I also want to be more involved in my church. How will I ever balance it all? I don't know, but I think it's in the process of trying and failing that I will eventually find the way. And I will continue to blog through it all so that in a few more years I can once again see a journey out of the layers of random events, thoughts, and links that I've posted about along the way.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

This Mother's Day and Moms I Admire

Tomorrow is Mother's Day and I can't help but to reflect on how wonderful everything seems right now.

I adore being a mom and spending time with my little one. I love that I have wonderful children in my care that I get to "mother" through the week so that their moms can go to work or wherever it is they are going and feel safe and secure in the knowledge that their little ones are loved while they are away. I am thankful for my own mother who taught me how to nurture and to love.

There are so many other things in my life that are changing and/or have changed in the course of the last year. These things aren't really related to Mother's Day, but as I reflect on life I am thankful nonetheless.

After years of being a church gypsy, I have found a place where I can love and serve and grow in faith. In the past year I have seen friendships in my life change and evolve. Some of the change has been hard. Some has been very positive and uplifting.

I guess some of those changes in a way reflect on motherhood in that I feel I can be a better mother when I have support and friendship in my life.

There are so many supermoms in my life who inspire me to be better.

There's hippymama - She works outside the home, then lovingly makes dinner for the fam - often grilling a feast outside and sending her kiddos in the yard with nets to catch anything their minds can imagine. She knows when to step back and laugh or sing a song when a child has gone off the "deep end" and uses humor in a way that I only wish I could in the heat of the moment. She is sensitive to the needs of her children and won't let others push unrealistic expectations on them. She is a true giver to everyone she comes across and her presence is truly refreshing.

There's wondermama - She cooks, she cleans, she homeschools her kiddo and keeps track of a high energy toddler. She knows what it means to be the great wife that loves, supports, and respects her hubby, probably more than I ever will. She gives wings to her daughter's creativity and ideas by helping her write her own stories. She sees the value in letting her kiddos know that their creative ideas matter. She is a writer and works to sharpen her own creativity, thus striving for balance by allowing time for her own personal growth.

There's hipmama - She's willing to do anything, move anywhere, in efforts to create a better life for her family. She seeks out opportunities for her children to get them out and about. She is amazingly creative and uses her creativity along with her sense of humor to help her children succeed. She sees the value in turning garbage into "treasure" just to encourage a child to complete the task of picking up, something I could definitely work on. She is a writer and her words touch others. She is a gem of a friend and loyal to the core.

There's moonmama - Like the moon she doesn't seek to shine for herself, but reflects light to others. She gives her time, knowledge, and wisdom to other moms seeking answers for nurturing care and comfort for their children. She has a busy household of kiddos, but seeks to provide loving care that is respectful of each child. She supports and inspires moms to find the strength to mother in ways that might be different from how they were raised. Her support kept me going at a time when I was really discouraged as a new mom.

There's huggymama - She knows how to love, love, love and nurture. She would move a mountain if she could if it would help one of her kiddos (or grandkids). She has the world's biggest heart and her sensitivity and compassion towards others is insanely admirable. She is supportive without being invasive. She provides surprise coffee delivery at times when her daughter is feeling overstressed and overtired. She makes the best damn chicken dumplinoodles I've ever had. Happy Mother's Day mom!

Okay - so the names are cheesy. Give me a break. It was hard to come up with so many names. There are so many moms I admire in so many ways. So I hope no one is offended for not "making the list". These were some people that are in my life right now on an ongoing basis that I wanted to acknowledge.

I know that as a mom it's easy to be so self-critical. We see all of our faults. This Mother's Day I hope to give these specific mothers the gift of seeing themselves through someone else's eyes!

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Potty Situation

Well, we're ten days out and I figured I'd give an update. We breezed through the constant reward stage. Boo no longer receives potty candy for sitting on the potty or for having dry pants. He is consistent enough with using the potty that I felt it was time to get rid of that reward. We have continued potty prize for when there's an actual deposit in the potty. He looks forward to that. Some days bring more accidents than others, but he definitely knows what to do. I don't force him to potty. I remind him where pee and poo goes every now and then and that's about it. Sometimes he jumps up and announces he needs to use the potty and sometimes he waits too long and has an accident. Either way he's learning from the experience and I can see that he is progressing nicely.

I do think that it's been a bit stressful on him. He's been a bit clingier and restless than usual. This makes sense to me though. For years he was able to just let it go whenever. Now he has to constantly try to figure out what his body needs to do and when it needs to be done. So I'm trying to be as supportive as I can. Now that we're done with Kindermusik, we don't have many evening commitments. I'm trying to be very choosy about how we spend our time so that he gets plenty of down time and one on one time with mom and dad through this process. It's such a HUGE milestone though and I'm so very proud of him. Hurray Boo!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Giving All to God?

How does one give all things to God? There are those who would answer with a witty, christianese statement that simplifies the entire process. There are those who would quote a verse as though the verse in itself is the process. But if it were that easy, would Christ have prayed to God that his cup pass from him if that were at all possible? By cup, meaning his torture and eventual death on the cross.

What if the very depth of a person's soul and what they believe to be the greatest part of their existence is in jeapardy? Will a simplistic remark and/or bible verse set things right in a hurry? I think not.

The best answer I can come up with is that it's in the process, tears, begging, denial, anger, grief, and endangered hopes that we walk a path similar to the one of Christ, with a cross unique to our own life and situation. In the process, perhaps somehow we learn to stop begging for a different path and accept the cup which we are given and peacefully resign ourselves to whatever may come. I guess that's the best I can come up with for now.