That month I potty trained

You read that right, MONTH. and really, let’s be honest, it was way longer than a month, and will continue for quite some time because when you have a stubborn child such as mine who also can play dumb better than any other, you have your work cut out for you.

The websites sell it so well…”Potty train in one weekend!!”….”Sure ways to potty train!”…

None of those writers have EVER dealt with my child. Owen can literally spend 3 hours convincing you he hates chocolate if it means he gets to be right and prove you wrong. When clearly, people, the kid loves chocolate. I knew it would not be easy, and considering up until that month, any attempt or even suggestion that Owen sit on the potty was equal to me telling him I was going to cut off his toes, “not be easy” is a very extreme understatement.

But it was time. We were too close to his 4th birthday and I was not going to be that mom with a 4 year old who wasn’t potty trained. I spent an hour at Target… stocking up on all of the things the websites told me. Several bribes, whether it be candy or small toys. I stayed up one night creating the most kick ass sticker chart you’ll ever see. And look! If you fill it up, you get a BIG TOY!!!

Except Owen spent a very long time telling me he hates stickers. He hates toys. And can you believe it? Surprise, surprise, he even hates candy.

I had a 4 day weekend. It was time. It was going to be hard. I knew there would be tears… most likely mine. I wasn’t ready for the next 4 days. And I’m proud I survived.

The first day I went easy on him. Set the timer and let him sit on it as long as he wanted. Most of the time he was back up before his butt even hit the seat. But that’s okay, I considered anything progress. I warned him that the next day we would be spending more time on the potty, and gave him the rules for the stickers, candy and prizes.

owen pottyThe next day it was full speed ahead. Except he refused. Hours were spent in the bathroom like this. Him crying. Me crying. Lucas in the next room wondering why I was losing my mind. I told him he could leave the bathroom if he just sat on the potty… but he wouldn’t. So he sat there… naked… crying… breaking my heart…

I’m so proud of myself that I didn’t give up. So many times I thought it would just be easier to keep him in diapers until he just one day decided to do it. But I’m a pushover way too much of the time, and this was not going to be one of those times. By the end of the weekend we had made progress…. I considered it a win.

The next weekend took us back a step or two, as they were with Dave and he wasn’t too anxious to force, or even “reinforce,” the training. For the next couple of weeks it was hit or miss. If he wanted to go on the potty, he would. If he didn’t, he would hold it until I wasn’t looking. And after a month I was so sick of cleaning that damn potty on the floor (and all of the pee surrounding it!) that I secretly missed diapers and their containing properties.

And then one day, over a month after that painful weekend, I convinced him to finally stand up and use the big potty. HALLELUJAH. He was like a kid on Christmas. I’m not sure what it is about boys and the luxury of peeing standing up, but it hit him. It was the best idea ever. And he has only had one accident since.

I am convinced he’ll poop in his pants for the rest of his life though…

I’ll call it a success… they make pull ups for a reason.

Posted in I'm Crazy, Life's little milestones, Proud mama, The "mommy" in me, Toddler Tantrums, What the Eff? | Leave a comment

Settling in and slowing down

I don’t like summer… *GASP!* But the sun! The water! The frozen drinks!

Yup, you heard it right, I don’t like summer. It’s hot, it’s chaotic, it seems to be week after week of never-ending plans and oh my God, get outside, must enjoy the sun!! Night after night the kids argue the point that “it’s not bedtime, mummy, THE SUN IS STILL OUT!” and all of the blinds and curtains in the world do not convince them otherwise. We sweat when we play, we sweat when we sit, we sweat even after bathing.

006Fall, now that is my season. When you can throw the windows open and enjoy the crisp clean air. When nighttime can involve a relaxing bath and some tea, rather than a cold shower and ice water. The leaves turn and as it happens you can literally feel life slow down.

It means birthdays, and holidays, and a warm bowl of chili, cooking all day in that crock pot that was forgotten for months. It means pumpkins, and apple picking, and adorable Halloween pictures, even if they won’t cooperate. The nights wind down slower, and the sun agrees that it’s time for us to enjoy a little more night-time. It means walks at dusk, not with sun blaring in our eyes. It means hay rides with blankets, and a cozy hoodie on while cuddled up for the game. It means, dare I say, prepping a little for a big round man in a red suit.

003The last six months of heating up was during a time of major change. A time of becoming a new normal and focusing on need, rather than want. I have come so far in those six months, and I’m ready for a slowdown. As spring came and went, and summer seemed to pass quickly, every day was a challenge to find our new norm.

I’m ready to live again. Not rushing to get it all done, and honor plans, and meet some made up goal of mandatory outside time. I’m ready for the fresh air that is truly fresh, not sticky and blazing.  I’m ready to stop and look around at everything around me, especially the joy that my boys exude when they are enjoying what nature has to bring during this change in season. 

For so many, fall is the beginning. Beginning of a new year. Beginning of the holiday season. For me, it’s my new beginning. I’ve found my norm. Now I get to live it.

Posted in Divorce, Family, Holidays | Leave a comment

Just like that

The moment you realize your marriage is over it’s like hitting a wall. A wall you’ve been running towards at full speed for months, for years. There’s something different about that moment. Not all the moments leading up to it. All the conversations, all of the thoughts. You know it’s ending. You know it’s coming. But you just can’t get there. You can’t visualize the reality of what you will do, what you will feel, how you will react.

You anticipate tears, and fear, a complete sadness of all that you’ve done and been through. Can you survive? Will the kids survive? Will he survive? So many unknowns until you’ve hit that wall.

It’s over.

Sometimes I wonder if my response was unhealthy, or just my way of dealing. The moment we confirmed it with “it’s over, we’ll sell the house, I’m going to stay somewhere for a few days” I should have cried. I should have screamed. I should have had an urge to say “NO, let’s fight for this!” But I didn’t. I sat on the couch with Owen. I hugged him and stared blankly. I texted my best friend “It’s over.”

When the dust settled, I went into action on how I can move forward a single mom and provide the best life for my children, and the best life for me. Where will I go? What support will I have? How will I be a good mom, a good employee, and still take care of me? What will our co-parenting look like? What can we emotionally handle?

As things progressed I kept having this major need within me to be sadder…. to mourn. Sometimes I would force myself to have thoughts of “maybe this can work” or “what if it’s over and I made a mistake.” I think only because I thought I should have those feelings. Not because I actually felt them.

Truth is that I was excited. I was excited to be myself. Live my life. Live without the resentment and anger. Without the feeling that I was doing everything for everyone, and nothing for myself. Not once since I moved have I thought the wrong decision was made. Though I keep telling myself to question it, mainly out of guilt. I shouldn’t think this was right. I shouldn’t be so sure. But I am.

I love him. I love him in a way where I know we are linked for life. He is the father of my children. Someone who does understand me and cares about me. And someone who I want to be truly happy, and find someone that makes him feel like he deserves to feel. Someone that shares his interests, and laughs at his dirty humor. Someone that accepts his faults and doesn’t dwell on them. Someone who’s not me.

And in the future, as my children start to realize the reality of our situation, I hope they can understand and see what a great support system they have in us. That no matter what, they are loved with every ounce of our being. And by knowing that this was right, we made it better for them.

Posted in Divorce, Family, Life's hard decisions | 1 Comment

I tried to get out

genYI live across the street from my mother.

On purpose.

I never thought I would seriously say that. I always had this aversion to living in my home town. I wasn’t one of the “townies” who still knew everyone’s business**, and I certainly didn’t want them all knowing mine. To me, getting out was a way to move on, move up. I come from an affluent town, so I’m not saying I was in need of moving out of the ghetto to bigger and better things. I just wanted out.

Until I moved away. And realized schools in other places are not as good as my top-20-in the-state school district. Until I lived around neighbors who clearly weren’t the type of people I wanted to associate with…

cough::::SNOB::cough (I’ll admit it)

And then on the horizon was impending single (poor house) motherhood. I had to make a choice of where to move where I could stay for a couple of years (cheaply) but start the boys at a school I trusted. Where once I had the money, I could up-size and keep them somewhere familiar. And holy crap…. I needed HELP at my fingertips.

There was a lot of back and forth in my head. Move farther so I can rent something bigger, but have more commute (aka, less time than I have now to get everything done?!?!) or pack my little family of three into a tiny 600 square foot place and be in the same town as work, daycare, and across the street from someone I will have to annoy rely on for years to come?

live with parents<—At least that’s not me, right?





Needless to say, I went with the latter. But it took a lot for me to get there. Too close for comfort? Too much of a burden on her? Too much rambunctious for such a little space?

What I’ve found is it’s the perfect balance between “my own independence” and “holy crap I need help.” She’s there if I need her. And luckily, that’s a lot less than I thought it would be. And she might as well be a million miles away when I don’t need her. No unexpected visits (on either of our parts), no over reliance (on my part – or so I hope). But sometimes it’s nice to have someone to walk with, or someone to have over to spend dinner time and lend a hand with that always-exhausting night time routine.

On the weekends when I don’t have the boys, she’s my “single” partner in crime, which saves me on many “holy sh*t, it’s too quiet” occasions. With all of my friends married, pregnant, and way more popular, sometimes I need someone to keep me from going out of my mind from all the silence. To level me off from the extremes of “go-go-GO” to the sound of crickets. But she also gets it when I want to lose myself in the silence of being alone in this space. And even though she’s literally a walk away, it doesn’t seem it.

I love living across the street from my mother. Yeah, I said it.

**TOTAL LIE – I totally keep up with all those townies’ business… duh… FACEBOOK.

Picture Creds

Posted in Adult Life, Family, Life's hard decisions | Leave a comment


playdohI want to be the mom that doesn’t have a panic attack when the play doh colors mix….

Literally…. well, I guess figuratively as well.

The mom that doesn’t gasp when water flows to the floor during bath time.

The mom that can actually stop herself from spreading the sauce evenly on the pizza after a toddler clearly leaves

A mom that spends more time laughing at her kids wrestling than screaming “No feet in his face!” or “Don’t pull him down like that!” Even though, clearly, they are both laughing.

I mean, really, what’s the worst that can happen? Clearly when the Play Doh is unusable anymore, they’ll get more for their birthdays, or Christmas, or as a bribe to PLEASE DON’T FREAK OUT IN TARGET.

And piling towels on the floor stops that waterfall from seeping through the tile.


That last one… well, that’ll take more patience…. one of these days, dem boys are going to the hospital from that there wrastling.

Posted in Boys do silly things, I'm Crazy | Leave a comment

Tutorial: The locked bathroom

Let me stress… I am a mom… of BOYS. And when I say boys, I mean “everything they do is dangerous and makes me gasp for air and I’m waiting for someone to be sent to the emergency room at any moment” boys.

So, from one parent to another (or for future parents) I will now save you the trouble of figuring out how to save your child who has locked himself in the bathroom (because, you know, he thinks it’s HILARIOUS).

Simple answer? Use a key, or a penny because you are smart and could see that any other doorknob with a lock is unacceptable with small children due to the risk of one of your children locking themselves in a room because they happen to THINK IT’S HILARIOUS.

Or, if you are like me and live in a ridiculously old place that has stupidly old doorknobs, please do the following:

  1. In your sweetest mom (or dad) voice say “Hey, honey? can you unlock the door?”
  2. Say a little louder (since he is clearly ignoring you and laughing) “HONEY? Can you turn the lock like you did before???”
  3. A little slower and a little louder…. “Hey (insert child’s name here)? I need you to turn the lock and open the door for mummy, please.”
  4. At this point you’ve probably heard “No” a few times, and a good amount of laughter.
  5. Go grab the skinniest screwdriver you have in the house. If you’re like me, you have very few options, but hopefully you find something in the junk drawer that will fit in that damn hole.
  6. Stick the screwdriver in the hole and pretend like you have any idea how to unlock a door with a screwdriver. This requires approximately 5 minutes of just jiggling a screwdriver so it makes a clicky noise over and over again.
  7. Start to panic. Try as hard as possible to hide that from your 3 1/2 year old child who’s saying “Mummy, what will Lucas do if we can never get him out???”
  8. Get a bigger screwdriver.
  9. Begin to take the whole doorknob off.
  10. Try not to panic more as you start hearing your child panic inside the bathroom. Start screaming “it’s okay honey, I’m coming! I’m going to get you!” (because, you know, that won’t make him panic more).
  11. Call your ex when you realize that once you get half the doorknob off, the other half won’t come off and you cannot do ANYTHING with the mechanics inside the doorknob to get it unlocked.
  12. Panic even more… Start banging the screwdriver into the doorknob as hard as you can in hopes that it will just fall apart.
  13. Just stop trying. Because that’s when your effing bastard of a child will just unlock the door and open it.

You win, little man.

Posted in Boys do silly things, Oh, how I love him, Toddler Tantrums, What the Eff? | 3 Comments

Sh*t, dude

I guess that is all I can say.

It’s been well over a year since I last posted, and literally there isn’t a day that goes by that I still don’t blog in my mind, thinking of what post I would write to describe the situations I’m in with two boys under 4 and a crazy, crazy life.

So much has changed. When I last posted I think I was talking about enjoying every minute and savoring the time with family. I still do that. But the family is WAY different. I’ve made a lot of changes. All for the better….at least for me.

In the last year, I have gotten promotions, moved, seen milestones in both of my children that are priceless, and most importantly, done something that most people will gasp and gawk at. I became a single mom. Not because my husband wasn’t great or someone I truly care for. I probably could have lived my whole life just living as we were.


But for me, that wasn’t enough. I wanted passion. I wanted love. I wanted someone that I wanted to tell everything to. Someone I wanted to run home to when I had a bad day to hold me and let me cry. Someone who got that what I truly needed was a shoulder, a rock. I didn’t have that. And that’s ok.

When I say I have a fairytale divorce, I mean it. We truly co-parent. He is with us several times a week, being a family. And it’s not the family we maybe had in mind. But for now it’s the family that works. And sometimes I feel horrible saying it…. but I’m happy.

I knew it was never right. I think we just did what others thought we should do. And now, looking back, I maybe wouldn’t change it. I have two children that mean more to me than anything in the world. I can’t picture my life any different. I have a job I love, babies that make me whole. I have an amazing support system.

I can’t lie. It’s hard. Being a “single” mom is overwhelming. Those moments where you think, “shit, I need a break” have no end. You can’t hand over your children and say “I need a minute” and then compose yourself. It’s a constant test of patience and determination. I will say I’ve done well so far. Being happy certainly makes me a better mom. A more patient, accepting mom. I’m more structured. I follow through more. I keep a clean house (unlike before). Happiness had made a difference.

Yes, I broke my family apart. Completely my fault, I’m not even going to pretend it wasn’t (I guess a story for later). But looking back I’m a better person overwhelmed and happy than I was with help and unhappy. I don’t doubt my decisions. I worried I would. I worried I would get a month down the line and wonder what I was thinking. Why did I ruin everything we had? But it’s been 8 months now and I am still as confident… no, more confident that this was the best decision for me and for everyone. It’s not fair to him, not fair to me, not fair to those babies to live unhappily. So I don’t. And I struggle every day.

But I struggle happy.

Posted in Adult Life, Banter, Family, Life's hard decisions | 5 Comments