Big Girl Bed and other good stuff…..

image

 

Since Osita started preschool it has been leaps and bounds!

This is a girl who is fully self expressed. The good and the bad. Like with any toddler, tantrums are a regular thing. Lately, it seems like we have turned a new leaf. We are having way more good times than not so good times. Her language skills  have jumped up a notch. She is able to identify that she is angry and communicate why. It’s huge!  We also have been working on her breathing through her anger. (As an adult, I struggle with conscience breathing when I am feeling anxious.) Overall, she just seems happier. Playing, pretending, being.

Potty is a regular thing now. Even #2. But no public potties yet though.

Yesterday, we graduated from her crib to a regular bed! What could have just been ‘swap out the beds’ easy project, turned into a ‘pull all the furniture, paint the room, clean the floors, put furniture back and then put the new bed in’ project. It was fun and everything went smooth. Osita was STOKED! I was worried that she would jump out at bedtime but she went down like a total champ. I was so relieved! Today’s nap went smooth too. Success! The pic above was taken before we put the safety railing up, as you can see, she is enjoying this transition just fine.

Tomorrow night, Nina Grande’s high school orchestra is playing with the Seattle Symphony! I told her I have to work but I have arranged to leave early so I can surprise her. 🙂 N.G. plays the viola for her orchestra. She also sings and plays violin and guitar. Quite the talent, that Nina Grande.

Advertisements

Always hustling. (A piece of my history)

Before I met my husband, I was a single mom for many years. I was 22 when I had A, her dad and I were married briefly but after we separated, we split the custody time and split the costs for A evenly. A couple years later, I moved from Southern California to the Pacific Northwest. He still lived in California but we kept the same arrangement, that we would split the time evenly and just be financially responsible for our time. After a few years back and forth, A told me that she wanted to live with me on a more permanent basis. Her father and I decided that we would allow A to make that choice for herself and because it was her choice she had to tell her father. As you can imagine, he wasn’t happy and as a result even though the circumstances had changed, he didn’t feel he should pay me child support. So he didn’t. And I, of very limited resources could not afford to take legal action and even if I did, what I would receive (if I won) was very little… Would it even be worth it?

So I did it on my own. I was a receptionist making barely enough to cover costs in the city but I supported us without child support, parental support, ANY support. A few years later he did finally agree to start paying me child support. I have, for the last few years, received $200 per month.

I also suffer from chronic illness. I have been seeking a diagnosis for over five years but I always worked right through it until I couldn’t. About 5 years ago, I took a medical leave of absence because my health was spiraling out of control. I was dating my husband at the time and he helped support me financially and physically. I took longer than I had originally anticipated and my company could no longer hold my job for me and then I was unemployed. Even though I was without work, I have always found a way to make money…. cleaning houses, personal organization, personal assisting, odd jobs to piece together some sort of paycheck, some way to get by.

Finally, I landed a job…. 6 weeks after S was born. I had to take it. It was a great place to work. 6 months after working there, my younger brother was killed in a horrific car accident, and then my health took a nose dive and S just seemed upset. Too many emotions, maybe? … or maybe because I left so soon… or a combination of it all?? S was stressed and my husband was running his web development business from home and managing the baby while I worked, he was stressed. We thought it was best I quit my job, for S, for my health, for his stress. I wasn’t making enough money to justify putting S in daycare full time which is what we would have needed.

It was a lovely year “off” but I still found a way to make money by nannying children from home. I have been a nanny to H for 4 months now and was watching another child prior to her.

My husband is a small business owner and, for us, that means sometimes we are flush and sometimes we have lean months. For me the ebb and flow creates much anxiety, especially when I know I could be making more money. It’s been a lean summer. And even though I watch H, it’s only one or two days a week. So I told (actually insisted) my husband two weeks ago today, that I was going to look for a job, something retail maybe I could do in the evenings.

The next day, my friend, who owns a great tattoo shop in Seattle (one that I am a client of) posted on facebook that they were looking for a part time front desk person, 3 days a week. I wrote her and said I would be interested if we could work around the days I nanny H. 3 days later, I started my new job. So now, I work 9.5 hour days, 3 days a week at the shop and nanny H the other 2 days, and still manage to have weekends off.

S is ready for preschool, so we are sending her 2 days per week and J will absorb the 3rd day.

We are all breathing a collective sigh of relief. Money isn’t everything but it’s always easier when there is decent steady money coming in. I will never be content being a housewife if my husband is struggling to make ends meet. I will always find a way to bring in some money.

(Well… that was a ramble!)

Misadventures in Potty Training

Image

When I recall how potty training was with A, I remember it was so easy. She entered day care when she was one year, saw what the other kids were doing and immediately wanted to do it too. She was pretty well trained (except for at night) by 18 months. EASY!

When we returned from San Diego in early June, we decided that we were going to be committed to potty training. Prior to that, we had had months of inconsistent “potty training”, we knew it was time to get serious. I purchased some panties and away we went.

We put the panties on her, talked to her about telling us if she had to go, offered up a treat if she peed in the potty.  She constantly peed in her panties and mildly resisted the process. No big deal, it’s the first week of many. A friend suggested I let her run around without panties that way when she pees she could feel what was happening, which resulted in…

“Mom, mom, look, look at me!!!”

I walk down the hall to see a giant poop on the floor.

Greeeeat. (How does something so big come out of someone so little?!?!)

After that she started REALLY resisting it. I think the poop incident kinda freaked her. Literally kicking and screaming as we walked her to the bathroom.

“I don’t want to! NO WAY!!!!”

I did a little more research and read that some children resist it because they don’t want to give up being the baby. Yeah, I can see that. S is not in daycare so she doesn’t have peers to look up to. She obviously wasn’t ready so we hit the reset button, completely stopped potty training and just let it go.

After a few weeks, we started bringing it up in conversation. Then slowly started taking her to the potty at night before bed, then during changes. Purchased some pull ups and eased in to more regular taking her to the potty. I acknowledge her efforts every time I take her. I’m still offering up a treat for actual pee in the potty. She has been much more receptive this time around.

While she has yet to actually pee IN the potty, she rarely wets her pull up during the day and let’s it go while she naps. I call that a small victory. 🙂

Unintentional hiatus

…and then all of a sudden it was almost August.

Where has the summer gone? I feel like I have been in a Tasmanian devil whirlwind and I have just been released. The past 6 weeks have been full of fun, family and travel. Hubby, S and myself journeyed to San Diego for a week. After that Hubby and I went on a much needed “Parent’s Only” long weekend to Victoria B.C. I have attempted potty training, had a grounded teen, spent 4th of July week on Vashon Island, many trips to many different Seattle parks and my Dad just left after a whole week visiting. Not to mention Hubby running his business and we are dealing with the realities of life. Phew!! Busy and fulfilling times. I keep a tumblr that documents all the other things I’m doing when I’m not writing about my children. Here —>  http://songforthefeast.tumblr.com/    …..if you feel so inclined. 🙂

I’m looking forward to things slowing down for a bit. On Saturday, A leaves to camp for 2 weeks, I have no house guests coming and no real plans expect to hang out with some friends and to bask in the Seattle summer. Hopefully, I can make some time to catch up on my parental adventures.