Love Overflowing

Not claiming victory by a long shot

If there is anything that I have learned as a mom it’s not to claim victory before all is said and done. Know what happens when you claim victory prematurely??? It blows up in your face and takes you twice as long to get to where you were going. So there are no signs and parties going up as of yet but things are looking promising.

I had originally planned on started potty training at the end of April. Emily would be 2 1/2 and I thought it would be time. For the past several weeks, she had been telling me when she was peeing and when she needed a clean diaper. My mommy instincts told me that she was ready. I decided on a Thursday that the following Monday was going to be “panties only”. I talked up panties and being a big girl like there was no tomorrow. Monday came around and as I was changing her out of her overnight diaper I told her we were going with panties. We waved bye bye to diapers!

I got her a sippy full of water and a cup of juice. I set the oven timer for 20 minutes. I even put in the Elmo potty dvd. Didn’t even make it 1o minutes before she came running to me…”I got to potty mommy!!!” All day, just like that. I never even got the opportunity to ask her if she needed to go! We decided to go to the library that night. I was a little hesitant due to our in progress training. I contemplated breaking out the pullups. I decided against because she had shown me during the day that she could tell me when she needed to go. And she wore panties to nap in and woke up dry. So we went to the library clad in panties. Know what? No accidents at the library!

The rest of the week was pretty much the same. Sure we had some accidents. Most were due to her being preoccupied and not paying attention to her body. I think we have had a total of 6 accidents and 1 poop accident. Not too bad if I do say so myself.

We had been wearing overnight pullups to bed. Sunday morning Emily came banging on our door. “Mommy!!!!!!!!! I need to POTTY!!!!!!!” I was in shock. She was dry! 1am this past morning- “mommy, I need to potty.” This morning she was dry. Granted she pee’d 2 more times in the morning. But she was dry. I keep telling myself that it’s necessary. It’s something that she has to learn to do. Although I wasn’t ready for the 1am wake up call. I thought we had a month or so before she would be ready to pee in the middle of the night. I am just selfish and really like my sleep. I know it will get better and soon she will be able to hold it. I just need to work on limiting her water intake before bed.

In the next week or so, we will begin working on pulling down your own pants and panties. That will be a huge step to independence as well. I have, hanging on my refrigerator, a piece of paper from Pampers regarding potty training. I don’t remember the exact information but it was something like this:

  • It takes 10 months of actively training to become habit.
  • The average age of girls who are able to go to the bathroom unassisted is 30 or 33 months.

I keep that on the refrigerator as hope. Hope that it will get easier and that I won’t be spending most of my day in the bathroom with Emily.

I know I am truly lucky though. I know many, many parents have a much harder time at training than I am. I was expecting a harder time. I am glad that I listened to my instincts and followed her ready signs. She was truly ready and was just waiting for me to give her the green light.


I am not claiming victory. Not now. Not for awhile.

But, the progress is great and I can’t complain!


I LOVE this girl…

She’s silly, she’s funny and she’s mine! If I only ever have one child, I am truly blessed that God thought enough of me and Stephen to loan us Emily. Every day, even with it’s struggles and stesses, I find myself thankful. Thankful that I get to be this girl’s mommy. It is a challenge. There are some days that I really want to pull my hair out or find a corner to go suck my thumb in but it’s worth it.

She cracks me up! I should post more about some of the funny and cute things she says. I know it would make at least one person smile!

Here’s a few just from the past day or so:

Emily woke up very cranky from her nap yesterday. I put on some cartoons for her to help her wake up. There was part when they were singing about wiggling your body. I asked Emily if she wanted to wiggle. I could not understand what she said. I asked her again. “No thanks, Mommy. I resting.”

Last night we went to dinner. After dinner, she was able to slide her little butt through two chairs. She stood in front of our table and started shaking her money maker saying “I did it!!! I did it!!!!” It was so funny!!!!!!

She also sings about her best friends. Babby, Lucy, any toy she happens to have with her.

My mind is blank now. I usually am full of stories.

So I’ll just leave you with a few pictures.

PS- Sorry the last two are sideways. I am too lazy to change them right now.

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I should mention…

I should mention that we have been going through the “I do it” stage for MONTHS!!! Her strong will has just gotten stronger! Emily is way too much like her daddy. She has to do things her way and the hard way. I have heard stories about Stephen when he was little and Emily is just as headstrong. I better get used to it and hope the teenage years are smooth. HAHAHAHA!!!!!!

Don’t get me wrong, I love my little girl more than anything in the world. She has taught me patience. Something I am still working on but getting a little better at!

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Will I survive??

I do it.

Me. Me.

I try.

I can!!!!!!!!

I DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Does this phase normally start now?? One of the girls I work with said she thought it didn’t start until 2 1/2 or 3. Well, we aren’t there yet!

How long does this phase normally last? Because I am not sure I am going to survive it!!!

It ranges from putting on clothes, coats, putting lids on cups, getting in the car seat and putting on shoes. And EVERYTHING in between. I could make a list a mile long of all the things that Miss Independent feels she needs to on her own.

I just have to take a deep breath and let her try. And help her out when she asks for help. She’ll never learn to do anything if she doesn’t try to do it on her own. It’s just frustrating and time consuming.

So until this phase is over, I need to make sure I am stocked up on paper towels, can count to 10 and have lots of extra time! Give me patience and strength.


Have you ever felt like……

One of the reasons I blog is for therapy. It helps me stay sane and is free. I am able to get my feelings out and not have them bottled up. This post is therapy…..

Do you ever have those days that you feel like you are a failure and you don’t know what the hell you are doing? It seems like you are second guessing yourself and all of your decisions? Life seems to be taking you by the ears and squeezing really hard? Welcome to my world….

Life with a toddler is maddening. Heck, life itself is maddening. But I suppose that’s what it’s all about- living and learning as we go right? The past few days have had me second guessing myself as a parent. Am I doing the right things with Emily? Food, exercise, activities, crafts, learning, discipline, big girl bed. Everything.

Unfortunately, children don’t come with instruction manuals. You have to wing it as you go and hope that you are doing the right thing and pray that she will turn out to be a respectful, happy child. What works for one child doesn’t work for another. There are thousands of books out there on parenting. One book will totally contradict what another one says. You just have to decide what works best for your family. I am huge on advice and have no qualms about asking for help. Obviously, I don’t know what the heck I am doing so I need any ideas I can get on how to be a better parent. I am not too proud to ask for advice.

The last few days have been hard. I am not saying that all of our issues are related to the crib to bed transition. I am sure some of them are. One thing I am sure of as well, is that some of our issues are just related to the life and times of a toddler. A two year old who thinks the world revolves around them. A two year old, that despite having a great vocabulary, still cannot tell you what they want or need all the time. They can’t express themselves the way they want. A two year old that has the burning desire to be independent but just can’t quite do it all on her own. It’s frustrating for all parties involved.

The bed transition started out ok. The past few days have been a struggle at nap times and bedtime. Not a struggle in that she gets out of her bed in the middle of the night. A struggle in just getting her in bed and lying down. Ready for the lights to go out. She stalls, she asks questions, she kicks, she pleads, she asks for more prayers. Once I can get out the door, I am golden. She listens to her mobile for about an hour and then goes to sleep. That part isn’t any different than when she was in the crib. She always needed about a half hour to an hour to wind down. It’s the getting out of the room (me) that makes me want to bang my head on a wall. She’s been getting up earlier as well. That coupled with shorter naps- you do the math. Tired, cranky two year old. Add in a frustrated mommy….Not good times.

Don’t get me wrong. Not every hour of the day is bad. Yesterday, after kickboxing class, we were golden. Mommy was more relaxed and calm and so was Emily. It was a very pleasant morning. It’s not all bad. I am painting a bad picture here and I don’t mean to. I am just venting and *therapying* the frustrating stuff going on in my life right now.

I have been going back and forth on the whole crib/bed thing. I really don’t know what to do and really need to think a lot about it. Things weren’t pretty tonight. Stephen ended up working late so I fed Emily. When he got home, she couldn’t decide if she was done eating or if she wanted back at the table. Tears and yelling followed. Then she got upset about a toy that we wouldn’t give her. All out temper tantrum. Lying in the floor, tears, screaming. After Stephen and I got done eating, we decided that Emily was tired and needed to go to bed. We tried something new. We switched her back to her old pillow (just put it in the princess pillowcase) and took all of her friends, except for one, out of the bed. We read, we snuggled and we told her that we loved her. We told her that we loved her very much that she needed to get some rest and that she needed to listen to mommy and daddy when the told her no. I know she didn’t get it fully but the main point was that we loved her and weren’t angry with her, just angry with her attitude.

And we put her to bed. There was a little stalling, switching of which friend slept with her, prayers and kisses. The mobile played for a little over an hour. I made it out of her room without tears or banging my head on the wall. And she’s asleep. And it’s before 8pm.

This parenting thing is hard work. Especially for first time parents. It’s a “learn as you go” kind of thing. You are bound to make mistakes. That’s a given. We are learning  this whole discipline, food, bed, etc stuff.

I don’t know what in the world I am doing. I just hope that I am not totally failing at my job of parent, teacher and caregiver. I don’t want to totally mess Emily up. I just pray for patience and guidance. I can only do the best I can and hope that my best is good enough.


Change in the dictionary

There needs to be a change to the dictionary. The entry needs to be:

Molars [(moh-luhrz)]
n.   A tooth with a broad crown used to grind food, located behind the premolars.

1. Of or relating to the molars.
2. Capable of grinding.

verb:  to cut: pure torture to all involved. Nights of sleeplessness, days of crabbiness and the need for the parents to drink.

It took Emily 3 months to cut her one year molars. I thought that would be the worst. And now we are starting to experience the two year molars….

I knew that the “Twos” are challenging but no one prepared me for this! I can deal with the occasional tantrums, the constant repeating (if I hear the word Shadow one more time……), the random outbursts and the inability to listen but I am afraid that I am not going to have any brain cells left by the time Emily turns 3. On most days, she really is pleasant to be around. But then there are THOSE days. Those days that I wonder if it is really too early to drink by noon. (Just kidding! Maybe)

We just got over the canker sores in the mouth, possible ear infection and the *big move* to the toddler bed. Can’t we catch a break over here? And by we, I mean me. Ok, I really mean all of us but I am being self-centered here!

I really think Stephen is going to stuff a sock into my mouth if I ask him one more time if I think her attitude and bedtime battles are related to the toddler bed. I sometimes wonder if it has something to do with it but she’s been in the big girl bed almost two weeks. The first week was rough but she was sick. The second week was a breeze. It’s only been the past few nights and naps that I have wanted to bang my head into a wall. She wants me to sit with her or she doesn’t want to lay. I know she is testing her limits and seeing what she can get away with but bedtime is non-negotiable. Same with naps. For the past few days, I feel like I am fighting a battle every time time. I will win this battle.

Back to the molars. Stephen seems to think that the issue is with the molars. I think there is some truth to it because she isn’t always a pleasant person to be around. The temper tantrums have been much more frequent and she always ends up hurting herself.  Her appetite is hit and miss these days. And the whining…….oh, my, gawd.

And I know the molars are coming in. I survived the whole “shoving the finger in the mouth” tradition. And I still have my finger! Poor kids gums felt pretty swollen. I don’t feel any points yet though. Have a seen any? That’s a joke! Can’t get her to keep her mouth open long enough to check. So it’s going to be awhile.

I know it’s harder on her than it is on me. I am not the one dealing with the constant pain. I am armed though with Motrin, Tylenol and teething tabs. I wonder what else I am missing….I feel bad for the little girl and wish I could take the pain away but it’s a right of passage…Luckily, she won’t remember the process when she gets older.

So, if you have any extra booze lying around, think of me while my toddler cuts her molars. By the time they all come in, you might find me in a corner, bald with my thumb in my mouth.

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Extra! Extra! Big news!!!

I have two pieces of big news in the J household to share!

First off, Emily is officially in a big girl bed! I was very, very hesitant about it. I wasn’t ready for her to move yet and I didn’t think she was ready to move yet. The funny thing is that I had JUST blogged about it. I think I jinxed myself! That little girl loved her crib more than anything. It was “her” place.

Why move her you ask? I still ask myself that occasionally. I chose to go along with Stephen’s idea with the understanding that the crib would go back IMMEDIATELY if needed. The reason behind the move is that Emily was showing signs of being ready. She had only climbed out once or twice so that wasn’t an issue. The issue was with bed time. She wasn’t wanting me to carry her to the crib anymore. She wanted to walk. That was fine until she didn’t want me to put her into the crib anymore. She wanted to climb in. And she wasn’t very good at it. She was wanting to be a big girl and Stephen thought it was time. I am still sad.

We chose to buy her a new bed because we didn’t think the converted crib with work. It was her CRIB and the railing should be ON. I think it was a wise move on our part. I personally think it would have been harder just converting.

I am happy to report that Emily has done really well with it though. She has had some night waking. I can’t say if it’s due to the bed transition or the fact that Emily is sick.  (We didn’t know she was sick when we bought her big girl bed- we probably would have waited.) We also bought a princess bedding set and I think that sealed the deal. She really seems to like her big girl bed after I named off her friends that slept in their beds. Thanks to Trinity, Kara and Chase for unknowingly making the transition a little easier!

She has not gotten out of her bed during the middle of the night when she has woken up or in the morning. She just calls for her mommy and daddy to come get her. I am sure that won’t last very long but I’ll take it while I can!  I have been sleeping on edge because of her being sick and I keep waiting to hear our door open and find her in my face!

I think she really likes her bed and is doing well for the most part. I am still sad that she making all of these transitions. Too soon if you ask me. I know she needs to grow up but she will always be my little girl.


The other big news!!!!

Emily went pee pee and poo poo in the potty! You know you are a mom when that’s a big deal and you make an announcement! I was planning on really laying the ground work after the first of the year with potty training. She has gone before but went on strike for quite some time. I caught her tonight before she “did her business” and asked her if she wanted to sit on the potty. Stickers and money! (pennies and pooh stickers!) Shockingly, she said YES! And even more shockingly, she ACTUALLY went! I was so very impressed!!!!! Stephen even gave her a quarter instead of a penny! I am sure it was probably a fluke but I will take what I can get. It’s just one more step toward the potty training process and my little girl growing up. I would like her to slow down a bit. Although, changing diapers I could do without!

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Now that’ll make you cry….

We have a bedtime routine in our house. Emily gets in her jammies; mommy or daddy will read her several stories; she gives kisses; I carry her while singing the goodnight song and Stephen tickles her feet. We say her prayers; get her situated and tell her goodnight. This is how it’s been for 2 years. And I like it.

I always knew there would come a time that we would have to change the routine because Emily would be too big to carry or be in a big girl bed. But she’s still carry-able and still in her crib probably will be until she’s 5 but that’s another story. So I should have awhile right???? Right???????

Not according to Emily. The other night, I gave her a bath and put on her jammies. It was still a little early so we snuggle up on my bed and watched a little “Wheel of Fortune”. She decided that I needed to put on Scooby pj’s and dug them out of my bottom drawer. I told her I’d put them on later and to head to the chair for story time. Emily picked out the books she wanted to read and said she wanted mommy to read. So we read together, snuggling. And then it was time for Daddy hugs and kisses. Stephen then told her to head to Mommy so mommy could take her to bed. And then it came.

No, walk.

Wha????????? Come again…. Say what?????

No, I walk.

This can’t be happening. I should have at least another 6 months to a year of being able to carry her right? She’s only 2 and 2 months. Not even 2 and a half. So, she walked. And I cried. Seriously, I cried.

And then she detoured to mommy’s room and tried bringing out the scooby jammies.  Ah ha!! She was wanting to stall!!!

I wish that were the case, as she wanted to walk to her crib during nap time. I don’t think it will be an every day occurrence or at least I hope. I love getting that last carry in for the day as it is one of the few times that she really let’s me baby her.

My little girl is growing up and I have to deal with it. I have to get on board because there is no other option. But I don’t have to like it! I can, and will, shed some tears now and again. Because I am her mom and that’s what we moms do.


Sweet, sweet words…..

Church with a toddler. A busy, loud toddler? How do you handle it? Stephen and I are active in our parish so there are weeks that we have to sit in the front and we refuse to sit in the cry room with the obnoxious kids and parents who don’t care and don’t get anything out of mass. Father Ryan said that church is about family and families with small children should not have to be segregated from the masses. We took that to heart and sit with the general population. How would Emily ever learn to behave and listen?

It’s not that Emily is bad, per se. She’s just active and doesn’t know how to whisper. It’s hard to sit still for that long for an almost two year old, let alone a 30 year old! Our only saving grace is that mass lasts for an hour or less. Usually no more. Emily goes berserk if we aren’t out of there by an hour. I am trying really hard not to compare Emily to other children close to her age. I see this family that attends our church. They have two precious children that are a bit older than Emily. They are ANGELS. I have never, ever heard them utter a peep, let alone cry. Is that normal or are they just good freaks of nature?

We were standing in church this morning, listening to a prayer. I am holding Emily of course because she wouldn’t have it any other way. She looks at me and says (in a VERY loud voice) “Mommy! I happy mommy!” Those were very, very sweet words. I couldn’t pay attention to the prayer and I got tears in my eyes. My sweet daughter. Kid, you just don’t even know how happy you make me. But she doesn’t say or do anything just once! Repeat…several times “I HAPPY Mommy!” I know that everyone around us had to hear her. Heck, Father Ryan and Deacon Joe had to hear her and they were sitting up front!

I prayed. I prayed for patience. I need patience to be a good mother. To deal with such a sweet girl who drives me out of my mind sometimes. We are getting into the twos. Ah, the twos. It’s not bad, it’s just very, very challenging. Take a deep breath and count to 10!


All I want to do is pee

Let me preface this post by saying: If you know me, you know that I love my daughter more than life itself. She is the best thing that I ever did. I wouldn’t trade one bad day with her for a million good days without her. But…………..

Sometimes I just need to be by myself. I need to have 5 minutes where I am not holding her, talking to her, answering her questions. She is going through a phase. God, I hope it’s a phase. She wants her mommy and only her mommy most of the time. In church, she wants her mommy to pick her up. Emily only wants to hold mommy’s hand in parking lots or on walks. At home, she wants to sit by her mommy. She doesn’t want her daddy to sit by her mommy or hug her mommy.

The other night, Emily got mad at Stephen because he was on *her spot* on the couch. So he moved over next to me. “NO!!! NO!!! Daddy!!! MY MOMMY!!!!!” She came running over to the couch and pryed Stephen away from me.

Tonight, she was playing with her barn next to her daddy. All I wanted to do was pee in peace. I went into the bathroom in our bedroom and shut the door. I heard “Mommy???” “Mommy????” being yelled throughout the house. Seriously??? I couldn’t even get 2 minutes to pee.

I am glad Emily loves me. “Luv too mommy” is what I hear when I tell her a million times a day that I love her. I know she loves her daddy. I don’t know if it’s because I am more nurturing or what. She gets in trouble with me just the same with Stephen. Although I seem to be a little more gentle. Maybe that’s it. I ask her to give me things instead of taking them away off the bat. I give her a chance to do what I say before I get angry or forceful. I do not negotiate but I give her a chance to do things in toddler fashion. It might not always be the fastest but…. My theories are: Pick your battles. Not everything is a battle. And…..You catch more flies with honey than vinegar. Please and thank you go a long way with a toddler. They don’t want to be ordered around like a prisoner. Show them respect and you get as much respect as you can get from a two year old.

Please tell me this is a phase. Please tell me that she will become attached to her Daddy. Or half way attached to her daddy. Please tell me that one day, I will be able to pee in peace.