This is my life...a series of dreams come true on a daily basis. Join me as I run down my dream - maybe you will find your dream in the process.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Potty Training Boot Camp

Yes.  Your eyes are not deceiving you.  I have placed Jackson in Potty Training Boot Camp at our house.  And, it is kinda fun, but a lot of work!  I don't remember having the struggles with potty training our daughter Scarlett.  She was basically trained in day using a popular book by the same name.  Here is a link to it if you're interested in learning more:  LINK!

I have often heard that boys are tougher to potty train than girls, and I am finding that, at least for me, this is the case.  I planned out my boot camp attack early.  I went to Walmart at purchased a few items to act as enticements (read: bribes) to using the potty seat regularly.  I picked up some Cars flushable wipes, fun liquid soap (the kind that changes colors!), Elmo and Thomas the Train pajamas, a Thomas the Train shorts outfit, Thomas the Train briefs, a water gun, a dinosaur egg bath fizzy, and a Thomas the Train DVD set.  Oh yeah, and a bag of M&Ms for me.

I took off work Friday so I could have a full day head's start working with Jackson.  He did really well the first few hours.  Only had one boo-boo all day.  We blew through a lot of the goodies quickly.

Which is why I had to get James to make an emergency trip out with Scarlett for more provisions.  They picked up some puzzles, Pez dispenser (Thomas the Train!), water cannon, a couple of books, some Ring Pops, coloring books, a yellow visor and yellow sand pail.  I am hopeful that these will get us through Monday, when Potty Boot Camp officially ends.

Today we had a couple of accidents - it is hard to remember to go potty when you are having such a good time playing at a sand/water table.  I am hopeful that tomorrow will be as good, if not better!

Off to throw in another load of laundry.  Potty training tends to increase the amount of laundry to be done!

Friday, May 27, 2011

What day is this again?

I am working on the 31 Days to Clean challenge.  I am really not sure what day I am on - I think the challenge is on Day 19.  I think I fell off the wagon on Day 4.  Anyway, today's challenge is all about the self-disciplined life.  You can read all about it here.

Day 19 exhorts us to commit to goals, complete these goals, but more importantly, to never give up.  I like that.  Just because I failed to keep up with the challenge goals, I am giving myself permission to try, try again.  Just because I am behind doesn't mean that I should quit.  The turtle in the story of the "Turtle and the Hare" was slow and behind.  But as the moral of the fable goes, slow and steady wins the race.  So I am not giving up.  Slowly and surely I will meet all of the goals in the Challenge.  I am encouraged by reading the blogs of other like-minded ladies who are similarly struggling and refusing to give up.  We are a sisterhood of turtles!

Today's challenge: Clean out and organize my bathroom closet and update my first-aid kit.  I can start anew there.  

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Latest Home Improvement Project - Anything but clean!

I am excited about the latest home improvement project we have going.  So excited, that I have embraced it over cleaning on my 31 Days schedule right now.  Which is fine, because sometimes you just have to do something else to keep from going insane.  Learn about the 31 Day Challenge (that I am behind on) here.

We live in a nice, unassuming brick rancher in a nice, suburban neighborhood.  We bought it several years ago as a fixer-upper, and we have been fixing up ever since - new roof, new HVAC - you get the idea. 

Now we are to the fun part - decorating.  I decided to start on the master bathroom.  I decided that was the place to start for two reasons:
  1. It was small and could be completed quickly, giving me the mental boost to continue in other rooms; and,
  2. while I was sitting there watching 3 year old Jackson play in the tub, I started absent-mindedly picking at the outdated wallpaper.  Half an hour later, I was into full blown wallpaper removal before I knew it. So I kinda had to finish it.
Here is a photo of the bathroom before:

Pretty bland, huh?

Of course, being the Type A, bull dog personality that I am, I of course had to purchase some new things for the bath: rug, shower curtain, towels, and new light fixture.  I drew the line at the toilet cozy, because, well, I really don't like them. 

Here are the goodies I bought:

Yes, the pink poodle is mine.  What of it?

I am really pumped about the new light fixture.  After seeing the old one, wouldn't you agree a change is in order?

I am keeping an eye out for a good deal on a vanity.  All of our old vanities are the 1970's Formica-type.  Utilitarian, but definitely not beautiful.  

I do plan to get back on my 31 Days to Clean.  Honest!  Just not today.

Monday, May 9, 2011


My sister-in-law and I have this on-going joke. Whenever we start to do something and it seems to  inevitably not get done, our go-to excuse is, "I got distracted." In my case, it usually is a child wanting something, the phone ringing, or just walking out of one room into another and forgetting why I am there.

I get distracted.  A lot.

Which is why I like to make lists.  Lots of lists.  I even have an app for my lists on my iPad.  I call it my list of lists.  (Let me go on record as saying, iPads are AWESOME!).

Sorry. I got distracted.

My inability to focus on things make the Challenge a challenge.  That is why I particularly got excited about the List of Six in the Martha/Mary Challenge for Day 6.  Prioritize the top six things you need to accomplish on any given day.  Put them in order of importance.  Only list six things.  If you don't finish one, put it at the top of tomorrow's list.  Easy peasy, huh?  You can read more about it here.

My list for today (and I had to revise it already) is:
  1. Get my hair cut (may throw in an eyebrow wax and totally get pampered).
  2. Find my old resume or create a new one (I want to make some extra income by becoming an adjunct professor at a local college).
  3. Write a new blog post.
  4. Sit in the sun.
  5. Do my Martha/Mary Challenge
  6. Clip 3 year old's toenails.
I have had #6 on my to-do list for about 3 days - I keep forgetting!  So far, I have completed 1 - 4.  Feeling pretty good about my progress!
    Do you keep a to-do list?  What would your list of Six Things be?

    Thursday, May 5, 2011

    Already behind

    I started this 31 day challenge to gain a clean house and not lose my soul to it last Sunday.  I can honestly say:  I. Am. Behind.  BIG TIME.  You can read about the Challenge on Joyful Mothering.

    Obviously the challenges were made more for stay-at-home moms and not moms who have jobs outside the home.  I am finding it nearly impossible (not impossible, just nearly so) to meet the Martha challenges.  For those of you who are not aware of what the Martha Challenge is, it is basically a chore assignment for each of the 31 days.  For instance, the first day was to clean your 'fridge.

    Anyway, when I come home from work the last thing I want to do is housework.  I want to play with my two kids. I want to have a real conversation with my husband.  But failure to do housework makes my home chaotic.  And I've already determined that chaotic makes me anxious -   anxious does not a fun wife/mama make.

    So I try to do everything that I can to keep up, but still miss the mark.  Is this failure? No, I don't think so.  I just consider it a revised plan.  While some followers of the Challenge may do all of the challenges on schedule, this girl is making up her own schedule.  A lot of my work will, by necessity, be done late in the evening after kids are in bed or on the weekend.  Either way, I will come out ahead.  As long as there is improvement, I am content.  And isn't that all we really need? Contentment?

    Praying for contentment for you!

    Tuesday, May 3, 2011

    Thirty-One Days to Clean - a Challenge

    A couple of weeks ago, I was reading through a friend's Facebook page.  She had read that a new eBook about house-cleaning was about to be published called, Thirty-One Days to Clean: Having a Martha House the Mary Way, by Sarah Rae.  The premise of the book intrigued me.  You can check it out here.

    It bring to my mind the story of Martha and her sister Mary from the Bible in Luke 10:38-42.  Jesus and his disciples were traveling among several towns when they came to the village of Martha and Mary.    I can just imagine how the story would read in modern times: Martha invites Jesus into her and Mary's home.  It is a mess!  How could she let Jesus see her home in such disarray?  She immediately sets to work cleaning, fluffing pillows, picking up Mary's shoes (she always just seemed to walk out of them the minute she came through the door - was it too much to ask for her to put them away?).  Meanwhile, Mary is sitting in the living room listening to Jesus teach.

    When Martha complains to Jesus about Mary sitting there while she did all the work, Jesus replies: "Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but one thing is necessary.  Mary has made the right choice, and it will not be taken away from her." (Luke 10:41-42)

    This gets me thinking.  Why I am so anxious about my house being clean and neat, or more aptly, not being clean and neat?  Was I going about this all the wrong way?  Why do I snap at my family when they mess things up or don't help out as much as I think they should? Moreover, why is it so important to me that I keep our house neat and clean?

    I feel like I put a lot of undue pressure on myself when it comes to home and family.  I cannot seem to balance these as well as I would like.  I started searching out others who seemed to have found that balance.  In my search, I found Christin's blog, Joyful Mothering.  She is farther along in her journey to find that balance.  Her blog is inspiring, uplifting and, most of all, hopeful.  I highly recommend it.

    It was on Joyful Mothering that I discovered Christin's 31 Day Challenge using Sarah Rae's book.  You can read about Christin's challenge on her blog.  I have nothing to lose and everything to gain by taking the challenge.  A good friend from church is taking the challenge as well, although she won't be blogging about it.

    The challenges are relatively simple.  Perhaps the most difficult challenge is the very first one: deciding why it is important to me to keep a clean and neat home;  I thought a lot about it, and came to this conclusion:

    I need order around me so that I have a sense of calm.  If my surroundings are chaotic, messy and disorganized, I am anxious and unable to focus. 

    My friend that I mentioned above, Debbie, did her "Mission Statement" so to speak. I liked it so much, that I asked if I could include it in this post. 

    Debbie's Mission Statement
    I have begun my mission.  May those of you embarking on similar missions have success!