Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Potty Training...in 3 Days!

If you were to tell me I would have my stubborn 2 year old potty trained in three days I would probably respond with "You gotta' be shittin' me!" - sorry I couldn't help myself.

My friend told me about the 3 Day Potty Training method and I have to admit I was a bit skeptical at first.  After reading the book my skepticism turned to No Way...not happening!  This lady wants me to THROW AWAY all of our diapers?  She wants me to night train WHILE day training?  She's insane!  But after some more thought I decided Why not give it a try?!  We were planning on being home all weekend anyways while my husband and oldest son replaced our fence.  My thinking was I would rather have three days of complete exhaustion than three months of constant accidents.  And I'm SO glad I tried it!

I'm not gonna' lie.  It was hard work and I was one exhausted mama for the first two days. 

End of Day 2

But by Day 3 I was really glad I stuck it out!  If you want to purchase the e book or get more information on this method you can click here.  I won't go into all the details but I will say it actually ended up being a very positive bonding experience for Ethan and me.  And my husband and oldest son were SO encouraging to him as well! 

My big boy!
Some things I learned/remembered while potty training a boy:
  • The shield that is supposed to help boys keep pee pee in the potty does not always work.  Cover your face!
  • They may alternate between sitting and squatting while learning to poop outside of their diaper.  Don't freak out.  It should still land where it needs to.
  • M&M's are your BFF for three days.
  • You will sound like a broken record for three days.  "Remember to let Mommy know when you need to go potty.  You don't want to get Mickey (or whatever character is on their underwear at the moment) wet."
  • Don't EVER leave your husband alone with your 2 year old while doing a crash course in potty training.  You may (or may not) return home to a screaming baby in a bath tub with poop down the back of his legs and poop smeared all over the front of his training potty.  Wow!


Joking aside - I've said it before and I'll say it again.  God sure knew what He was doing when He blessed us with this incredibly sweet and beautiful boy.  I feel so blessed to be his Mama.


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Life of a Baseball Mom

I thought I would never be the mom who spent 4 days a week at a baseball field.  That is more than half of my free days in a week. 

I never thought the highlight of my week would be watching a group of ten 8 year olds play ball.

I never thought our family would drive out to the boon docks to watch Garrison's team play even when he had to sit out with a broken arm.

Never say never.

Garrison's first year playing ball


Here we are, several years later, and I have officially turned into THAT mom.  The "mitt finding, uniform washing, carpool driving, picture taking, always cheering baseball mom"!  And I love it!

I love watching these boys form incredible friendships.  Some will just be for childhood and I have a feeling some will be lifelong. 

I love that we have coaches who are dedicated, encouraging, firm and consistent.  Most of all they are incredible role models for our boys.

I love the incredible group of parents we have.  They are all supportive, encouraging and SO much fun! 

I realize some might find it odd that I would rather be at the ball fields than at Girls' Night Out.  Or that I really do love hosting a slumber party for several burping, farting, rowdy, wrestling crazy 8 year old boys.  But I know these days are numbered.  And I will always treasure them.  Watching my son and his friends learn, laugh, play and grow together is pretty awesome and I feel blessed just to witness it.

Tournament games are fast approaching for the Cubs and I am so excited Garrison will be cleared to play for the last few games of the season.  We are so ready for these boys to take 1st place after working so hard.  Go Cubs! 

We are so proud of you #23!




Wednesday, May 14, 2014

When You Say Nothing At All

My husband and I started dating when I was 15.  That sounds so insane when I think about it now.  But of course at the time I thought I knew all there was to know about life and I was just sure he was the one.  Well, at least I was halfway right. ;)  Our "song" was "When You Say Nothing At All" by Allison Krauss.  I loved it then and I love it now.  One of the most special moments was being able to sing that song while my Daddy played guitar at a recital in high school.  And another special moment was dancing with my husband to that song at our wedding.  Here it is if you haven't heard itBy the way, watching that video makes me feel really old.  Ha!

I am a talker.  That comes as absolutely no surprise to those of you who know me.  But I have learned that sometimes words are not needed.  In my life of almost 31 years I have experienced a lot of moments where saying nothing at all seemed fitting.  And looking back, these times have been some of the most impactful, memorable moments of my life. 

Times like... 

When I said goodbye to my favorite uncle while he laid on his death bed.  I remember him trying to crack jokes like he always did.  I was scared.  I was confused.  I was heart broken.  I said nothing at all.

When my sister was preparing to leave home and move to Houston.  We were close but had spent most of our teenage years fighting.  We were just starting to have a genuinely close relationship and I was incredibly sad to have her gone when I needed her most.  So I said nothing at all.

When Garrett asked me to marry him and he went on and on with all these sweet words but I was so shocked and excited and nervous that I just stared at him.  And said nothing at all.  (Don't worry...I eventually said yes!)

When I left my wedding reception and hugged my parents extra tight not knowing when I would see them again.  I moved almost 2,000 miles away to become a Navy wife.  I remember just staring at them and trying to take it all in.  For fear of completely losing it, I said nothing at all.

When I went to the doctor after seeing what I thought was a positive result on a pregnancy test.  I had convinced myself it couldn't be possible.  I came out of the bathroom and the nurses were standing there smiling ear to ear and said, "Congrats, Mommy!"  I stared at them for a very long time and said nothing at all.

When I delivered my first son, Garrison, and finally...FINALLY got to hold that beautiful baby boy in my arms for the very first time.  I knew at that moment I was forever changed.  I stared at him for what seemed like eternity.  And said nothing at all.

When I met my youngest son, Ethan, for the very first time in the NICU and tried to absorb the overwhelming feelings that were flooding my heart.  I stared at the tubes covering this little miracle in the tiniest diaper I had ever seen.  My eyes filled with tears.  And I said nothing at all.

Sometimes silence is the greatest gift you can give someone or yourself.  I am learning to soak in moments like these and hold them close to my heart.  I am learning to listen more than I speak.  I find I am learning so much more about God, myself and life in general....when I say nothing at all.


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

You Go Before Me and Follow Me

If I could sum my sister up in one word it would be "faithful".  She is truly an inspiration to me and so many others.  No matter what life throws at her she knows and believes to her very core that God is good ALL the time.  I have shared her story before on my blog (read it here).  I wanted to also share her perspective on her story, her journey, her life, below.  This is something she wrote for the Women with a Purpose newsletter at her church in Houston.   

My Story
"This is my story, this is my song
I want to be a part of something beautiful
If this is my journey, then show me Your road
Wherever you lead me in this world I want to go"
These beautiful lyrics from Addison Road's song "My Story" have truly been my comfort and a prayer for the past couple of years.
In 1980, I was born with Spina Bifida. This was before extensive ultrasounds were available, and there weren't as many medical developments then as there are now, especially in this area. My parents were young, but they had faith the size of a mustard seed. It didn't look good from the beginning, and doctors had little hope as to what my life expectancy would be. After a major 7 hour microscopic surgery at 9 days old, my parents waited and watched as I grew up doing all the "normal" things other children did. I never really had any huge problems until I turned 17, my senior year of high school. Long story short - we found out the hard way that my spinal cord was tethering, and life would never be the same. Slowly over the years that followed, my physical abilities have become more and more limited.
I've had 3 spinal surgeries, 12 foot surgeries, I've been told I'd never walk again, I can't feel from my waist down, there seems to be new complications arising all the time, and there are so many other medical issues that you wouldn't want to read about, but through it all God has been shaping me into the person He created me to be. (And I know I still have a long way to go!) At different times I have wondered why I am so different from everyone else. Sure, for the most part I may look the same on the outside, but there are so many reasons for me to feel different and broken - or so those were the lies the enemy wanted me to believe. Even now as a mom with 3 young children, there are times I look around and see other moms doing things that I could never do - simple things like running around with their kids, squatting down to their level to tie their shoe, jumping and dancing with them, and things that most people take for granted until they can't do them. But then I remember what God says: I am loved, He has a purpose, and everything is about Him and not me anyway. I am reminded by how truly full my life is. He has blessed me with 3 beautiful and HEALTHY children. I have a husband who loves me unconditionally even with all my "stuff." I have a church home and friends that I can be real with. I have a Heavenly Father who provides my every need and always has my back. What more could I want? Why would I want to be like everyone else? I have my own story that God is writing for me. So do you. I pray that you find joy in the story you are living and can see that God has a great plan for your life, as a mom, as a woman, as His daughter.
The Psalms say:
You go before me and follow me.
   You place Your hand of blessing on my head. -Psalm 139:5
Oh, how I pray we would hear and believe that the God of the Universe goes before us and behind us. He desires to bless us in every aspect of our lives. Know that this is His Promise to His children.
Kristin DePue

My sister and her beautiful family

I can honestly say I have never heard that scripture before (Psalm 139:5).  When I read it something really resonated in my heart.  What an amazing God we serve that goes before us and follows us.  He is with us at all times, every step of the way, even before we were born.  God "created your inmost being, knitting you together in your mother's womb" (Psalm 139:13).  He has a plan for you.  For me.  For all of us.  (Jeremiah 29:11) 

I want to have the same outlook on life that my sister has.  I want to wake up every day thankful that I am alive.  I don't want a day to go by where I don't thank God for my husband and partner in this life or my beautiful boys and for the privilege to be their mom.  I want to be everything God calls me to be.

My prayer today is for myself and anyone reading this.  I pray that we can realize how incredible the God we serve is.  I pray that we will be so in awe of His love for us that we can't help but to share that love with others.  I pray that we will be content with what we have in life and stop wanting more.  I pray that we realize God never changes.  He is good all the time, no matter what our life circumstances are.