Barren Awareness Day

Have you ever been single on Valentine’s Day?

Think hard.  Back to the days before you met your spouse, or significant other.  (Some of you may be very lucky, and the only time you didn’t have a Valentine was in Junior High, but the rest of us . . . well . . . I’m sure there were a few years without a Valentine . . . )

Do you remember how you felt?  Seeing your friends blissfully in love, opening thoughtful gifts, reading gushy love letters and eating chocolate?

Valentine’s day to the unattached person is known as “Single Awareness Day.”

This Sunday is Mother’s Day.  For years, (and I mean years) I met this day with sadness and anger.  For many, Mother’s Day is a day you recognize your mother, or you are recognized as a mother.  As a mother, you find joy in your children, and realize the only reason you have children is because you are a mother.

See, everything goes hand in hand.

For many women, this Sunday, Mother’s Day, is a reminder that their oven is empty.  To the childless woman, Mother’s Day is known as “Barren Awareness Day.”

I always dreaded going to church on Mother’s Day.  364 days a year, no one notices that you come to church without children.  On Mother’s Day, it’s like you arrive with a blinking neon sign that says “I’m not really a mother.  But recognize me because I’m married.”

Awkward.

Actually, what I really wanted my invisible neon sign to say is, “Please don’t recognize me.  It’s GLARINGLY obvious I don’t fit in.  Thanks.”

So year, after year, after year, after year, after year, after year, after year, after year, (yes, there were eight years of this awkwardness)  I would arrive to church with a smile on my face, hiding the pain that cut so deeply.

I wanted to be a mother.

Did the Lord think I was unfit?

Why, then, was I not blessed with children?

I will never know the answers to these questions.

But, I do know this Sunday will mark the third anniversary of my mommyhood and absence of that obnoxious blinking neon sign.

Thank goodness for that.

Where am I going with this?

I’m not really sure.

If you’re a mother, cherish your children and be grateful you have them.

If you’re not a mother (yet) and you long to be one, channel your energy into loving your own mom.  Your time will come.  It may not be in this lifetime, but it will come.

If you know someone who is struggling to have children, be extra sensitive to them.  Especially on Mother’s Day.

Happy Mother’s Day everyone!

I Can Only Guarantee Clean Hands

Warning: Potty Talk ahead!

Some of you have emailed asking for more specifics of how I potty trained Hannah.  Since I have only potty trained one child, (who was text book easy when the timing was right) I pretty much have no idea what I’m talking about when it comes to this subject.

Now that I’ve cleared the air . . .

Please read the following with a big grain of salt.

Let’s move on to today’s topic: Potty training

Well, in my very limited experience, this is my advice:

THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT RULE:

Your kid has to be ready.

End of story.

After your kid is ready, there are a few pointers I’d like to share:

First off , you need several potty’s.  A potty topper (or whatever they’re called) in every bathroom.  And a portable potty in the room they play in most.  Once your kid gets the hang of “the potty sensation” you will have five seconds MAX to get them on the potty for success!  (no pressure or anything!)

It’s okay for them to have accidents.  The uncomfortable feeling of wet pee on their leg will motivate them.  It sure did Hannah!  (And don’t worry, they do learn to hold their pee, and you will have more than five seconds when they start doing the “potty dance.”)

On the first few days of training, let them run around in their panties/underwear and a shirt.  NO PANTS.  This will allow easy on and off access as you both get used to running to the potty.  Give them a towel to sit on while they play on the ground or on your furniture.

It takes about 20 minutes  after you give them liquid to register that they need to pee.  Trust me, just take them to the potty, even if they don’t think they need to go!  Have lots of fun things like special activity books, books, and treats for the potty!

Make the bathroom a party!  Balloons, streamers, toys, books, etc!  Make the potty room just as fun as the play room! (Which is why a lot of kids refuse to be potty trained.  They would rather pee in their diaper than stop playing.  But . . . if the bathroom was just as enticing . . . you get the idea.)

After a couple days, they will get the hang of it, and they should start having dry nights.  Even though Hannah has dry nights, I still put a diaper on her to sleep because I am neurotic.  Maybe after a month of dry nights, I’ll quit.  🙂

Potty training is not suggested right after a major move, or right after a baby.  But, we just had a major move six weeks ago and Hannah did great.  There is no way I could have potty trained her right after Dallin was born.  NO FREAKING WAY.

Peer pressure works wonders.  Hannah has two friends on our street that are four, and potty trained.  Hannah was embarrassed about her diaper, so she was ready.  THANK GOODNESS FOR PEER PRESSURE!  😉

Okay, now I know this process can be SUPER frustrating.  This is the third time we tried to potty train.  The first time, right before she turned two, neither Hannah or I were ready.  We tried again at Christmas, and she definitely wasn’t ready.  Then, it just naturally happened a few weeks ago.

Keep in mind that BOTH of you need to be ready.

Also, I try to keep this quote in my head when Hannah has an accident:  You cannot make someone do better by making them feel worse.  I have to repeat this again and again when I get frustrated.  Cleaning up pee is not my favorite thing.

I cannot guarantee your kid will be potty trained after this, I can only guarantee one thing:

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All this going to the potty business will make for very clean little hands.

High Waisted Granny Panties Never Looked So Cute

We are DONE with diapers!

At least the size six ones.

Don’t even think of offending Hannah by asking if she would like to sleep in a diaper (12 hours is a long time for any bladder) like I did tonight.

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If you ask her about her old diaper days she will yell, “I don’t need a diaper to GET IN MY WAY!”

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Have panties ever looked so cute sticking out of little pants?

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And what about her cute big girl panty bum?

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Potty success would not have been possible (well, possible, just not probable) without the following books:

Potty Train Your Child in Just One Day

The Potty Book – For Girls

We are very excited around here.  Especially me.  I only have one in diapers now.

PHEW!

Sometimes, I Miss My Old Life.

Sometimes, when I feel like I’m nothing more than a nose wiping, diaper changing, mouth feeding mama, I miss my my old bridal store.

But just a little bit . . .

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I certainly don’t miss working every Saturday, 12 hour shifts during the busy season (January though April), irresponsible employees, crazy brides, alteration issues, or back-ordered dresses.

But, I do miss getting dressed up, socializing with new people every day, working hard and getting a paycheck for it, designing dresses, traveling to China (needing a Hong Kong shopping fix about now!),  and mapping out and executing new floor sets.  I also miss seeing my store at night after it’s closed, when it’s dark, and quiet, and clean, with over 50 mannequins looking so ethereal.

I do miss that stuff.