Tuesday, March 30, 2010
**Full Disclosure...everything I'm doing, is because my mother has taught me these tricks. She's been in childcare since I was 4 (that's 23 years people) and NO ONE knows better than she does!**
**EVEN MORE Disclosure...some of this might be a little personal...if it's too much, deal with it or hit that cute little red "x" in the top right-hand corner!**
First, we knew Malachi was ready to start potty training because he would say "potty" or "poo poo" when he was going or soon thereafter. We had reinforced that in the months prior every time he poo pooed or pottied in his diaper. He was also interested in watching Thomas or I in the bathroom and we would continually reinforce "potty" every time there was an opportunity! It is VITAL that your child understand what you're talking about if you want to even THINK about potty training. If he/she is NOT grasping this concept, it's probably not time!
Second, NO PULL UPS. Pull ups feel just like diapers to toddlers trying to potty train. They can't tell the difference between a diaper and a pull-up just because one fastens on the side and one pulls up and down like big kid underwear/panties.
Third, when you start potty training, start with thick underwear/panties and rubber pants on top. This is to prevent potty going EVERYWHERE, but still allow them to feel like they're wearing something different than diapers. (We still do diapers at nap/nighttime, even though after 2 weeks, he's woken up dry the last 2 mornings!)
Fourth, when you're ready to start, you take the child every 15 minutes. Put them on the potty. With Malachi, we would put a little bit of toilet paper in between his legs so he wouldn't "shoot through" and tell him to make "lello" because Yellow is his favorite color. No, his potty isn't REALLY yellow, but it helped him with the visual. We learned quickly that Malachi wasn't completely emptying his bladder and that he would just go a little bit and then tell us he was finished. THEN, 5 minutes later he'd have an accident. So, every time he went for the first couple weeks, we told him to "finish" or "keep going!" He didn't get to get up until there were just drops. Yes, he fought, but he didn't win. Distraction is not an excuse for your child having an accident. NOT when you're spending time every 15 minutes taking him/her! (For example, just now, Malachi wanted his book and I told him he could have it when we got back...he cried for his book the whole time, but didn't get it back until he finished pottying!)
Fifthly, once your child goes on the potty the first time, make it a HUGE deal!!! Do a happy dance, give him/her a HUGE hug and kiss, play music, even give him/her an M&M or some sort of treat. (Whatever makes them tick...you know what that is better than I do!) They get the happy dance EVERY TIME they potty in the potty for a while. With Malachi, we did that CONSTANTLY for the first week. Then, Sunday, he TOLD us he needed to go poo poo in the potty for the first time and DID so we did a MAJOR happy dance at Buns Over Texas!!! (That's a local hamburger restaurant...fitting name for the occasion, don't you think?)
Sixth, once you KNOW your child understands how to "hold" their potty and will go on the potty for you, it's OKAY to tell them or show them you're disappointed when they have an accident. NO, I'm not talking about scolding (at first) - just tell them you're disappointed and shake your head. (It's ALL in the tone of voice!)
Seventh, KEEP THEM IN UNDIES as much as possible while potty training. I'll admit that on the last 2 Sundays, we've put Malachi in diapers because he was still learning and I didn't want to put that burden on the nursery workers in Sunday School and Children's Church. However, he ended up with a dry diaper and pottied a TON as soon as we picked him up, so I KNOW he can hold it. He's ready for underwear next week.
Eighth, it's ALL about consistency. Let EVERYONE keeping your child know that you'll be doing underwear/rubber pants and that diapers are off limits except for nap/night time. Even then, put a diaper on and THEN put underwear/rubber pants on so they still have the visual. This is VERY MUCH a psychological issue!
Ninth, this is NOT something that's going to happen overnight. I think we've had it relatively easy with Malachi. But, we're ALL on board and we're ALL following the same game plan from us, to Lolli and Pops (the grandparents) to Aunt Kelly and Uncle Daniel to his teachers at daycare, we're ALL on the same page! That's KEY! Everyone reacts the same when he goes tee tee in the potty and everyone reacts the same when he goes tee tee in his underwear.
Tenth, (although I'm SURE I'll be blasted about this from some people, I said at the beginning of this post that this is OUR way of potty training. So, it goes without saying that this is MY opinion. You don't like it, that's fine, you do it your way, I'll do it mine!) - I DO believe in waiting until your child is ready. I do NOT believe in being lazy and not giving your child accountability. Malachi will get scolded if he potties in his underwear at this point. He KNOWS how to hold it, he KNOWS how to tell us that he needs to go. Granted, there are times when he'll potty because he's playing outside or has an accident. That'll happen for a LONG time to come. However, we will express our disappointment in him when that happens. Kids need to learn there are consequences.
And, for a bonus, I'll add that we do not use a potty chair. Some do. We just found that he's going to be forced to potty on MANY different toilets if/when we're out in public (EWWW, I know, it's gross, just carry lots of hand sanitizer and germ-wipes!) - I don't want him to be scared of big potties. Again, that's just our choice and it's worked so far. We also have a stool for him to use that Lolli and Pops made him so his feet are touching something when he's pottying. You wouldn't want to hold yourself up by just your arms and not be able to touch your feet for extra stability!
Monday, March 29, 2010
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Anyway - he used that video along with TONS of clips from "What about Bob" (remember the Baby Steps???)
35% payment history on debt - 30% debt levels - 15% Length of Credit History - 10% Type of Credit ON Credit History - 10% New Credits (debt) taken out - IT'S A FREAKING I LOVE DEBT SCORE!!! They grade you based upon how much, how often and how long you've been in debt!!!!! Dave also read us his credit score...wait, he doesn't have one. The credit bureaus "regretted to inform him that they were unable to calculate his credit score." AWWW, how sad! He's gone 15 years without ANY debt. 15 years people. No house debt, no car debt, NO DEBT!!! AND HE'S RICH. I'm taking my money advice from him from now on!!
During one of the breaks we went out into the lobby and had some fun.
Back in the venue, Dave brought his beautiful wife, Sharon, out for a visit. Her only requirement was that he was NOT allowed to make her talk!! So, he didn't. She came, she saw, she conquered, she left! That simple!! But, what a beautiful example of how WONDERFUL a marriage can be when you're not stressed about money!! (However, I heard him say JUST YESTERDAY that she STILL carries the envelope system in her purse. She's Mrs. DAVE FREAKING RAMSEY - and yes, she practices what he preaches!! LOVE IT!)
Finally, after it was all over, and Dave had given us every ounce of energy he had, we headed out to dinner. The drive to Cheesecake Factory was hysterical (well, not at the time, it wasn't) - but once we got there, we were EXHAUSTED!!!! We ate outside in the peace and quiet and tried to digest what all we had just learned. We were excited and talked about what all we could sell!!!
It was an incredible trip and one that I won't soon forget!! Thanks to Melissa and Kurt for going with us and for encouraging us! I'm proud of you guys!! I can't wait until we're debt free. Soon, we'd like to consider going to a counselor training session in Tennessee and becoming teachers of FPU since I know there aren't many in our area. Once you've changed your life like this, there's something INCREDIBLE about helping other people get there too!!! My prayer is that the Lord will use our story to inspire others and that we will be open vessels to encourage those that may want to do this, but may not know how!!!
Thank you Dave Ramsey -
Friday, March 26, 2010
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Saturday, my grandmother (my Daddy's mom) passed away after a long battle with Alzheimer's. It's an ugly disease. It took from her all semblance of a normal life and even her recognition of her beautiful son. We were with her Saturday around 12:45 when she took her last breath on this side of eternity and took her first, meeting Jesus. It was an INCREDIBLE experience for me to take in. I've dealt with death a lot in my life, unfortunately. I know that I will get to see those who are saved by God's grace one day, because I have accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior. So, it wasn't a sad occasion for her. Only for us. Only for my dad. And, as any Daddy's girl knows, there's NOTHING worse than seeing your daddy cry. Then, Sunday, we pried ourselves out of bed, though we were drained from the events of the previous day and had a wonderful morning at church. I was overcome when our church sang "Holy Holy Holy" because I knew that as I was singing (or rather, listening, because I was truly overcome) that in my church, in the spiritual presence of our Lord, my grandmother was singing in the PHYSICAL presence of our Lord. She's there. She sees Him. She can touch Him. It was too much for me to understand and comprehend beyond being thankful and in Awe.
THAT was followed by a beautiful special by some wonderful ladies in our church. The song was entitled "Can I pray for you?" and was a wonderful testimony that there is NOTHING more beautiful than friends praying on one another's behalf and mentioning each other's name before the Lord. There is nothing more powerful. So, when someone says they're praying for you, believe that they are paying you the highest form of respect, because they are specifically going to the Lord on YOUR behalf. It's powerful, humbling, awe inspiring stuff.
Tonight we had visitation for my grandmother and, I must say, she looked beautiful. Only, it's not really her. I know that this old, frail body of this "soldier" is a terrible depiction of what she actually looks like now!! So, it was a sad, but peaceful occasion (as peaceful as things can be with MY family and friends involved...you know who you are and you know what you mean to us!) But, still, here I sit at 3:30 in the morning, wide awake. Thomas hasn't slept well, Malachi woke up, not crying, just not sleeping, and I had to rock him to sleep. And, as I rocked him back to sleep, I felt this incredibly unsettled feeling. I don't know why, I just did.
My friend Lindsey at todayindietzville.blogspot.com recently wrote about just such a feeling and how the Lord laid a specific Bible passage in her heart in the early morning hours. And, when she hastened to read that passage, her heart was soothed because she could almost feel the Lord talking to her. So, as a rocked my sweet boy, I prayed that the Lord would just point out to me where He wanted me to read. And, as I prayed, MY mind sifted through several passages that I enjoy reading. But, for some reason 2nd Corinthians stuck out. No particular verse or passage, just 2nd Corinthians. Now, I questioned it thinking, Lord, really? 2nd Corinthians? That's just a letter to a church. Is this really YOU speaking to me, or is my mind doing this?
Still, I finished rocking my baby, and came in to check Facebook before reading 2nd Corinthians. I wasn't sure that it was what the Lord wanted me to do. I posted this "
Jamie Allen is tired, but NO ONE in my house is sleeping well tonight. Off to read my Bible in hopes that this unsettled feeling will disappear in God's word and that His presence will calm not just me, but my entire household tonight!!
Then, I went to read. I opened my Bible and found 2nd Corinthians. Here is what my Bible says before Chapter 1, Verse 1. "The God of All Comfort." CHILLS. Now, I'm going to type the first 11 verses because they SO spoke to me. I encourage you to read them if you're going through a hard time right now. Wow... (all emphasis has been added because this is was stuck out to me)
1. Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, unto the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in all Achaia:
2. Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
3. Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the GOD OF ALL COMFORT.
4. Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.
5. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.
6. And, whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation ans salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.
7. And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.
8. For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life:
9. But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead:
10. Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us;
11. Ye also helping together by prayer for us, that for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf.
You see, Paul was telling the church at Corinth that their prayers were powerful. And, as he and Timothy suffered and feared for their lives, so the church went through the same emotions. And, as he and Timothy were delivered from their fearful situation, so the church was delivered. The church walked with Paul and Timothy in their time of tribulation and sorrow and fear and rejoiced with them and thanked the Lord on THEIR BEHALF when they were delivered. It's so powerful. I don't know, maybe it's just me, but there is NOTHING more exciting, just like Lindsey said, than when the Lord almost audibly speaks to you. I pray that if any of you ever has a need for prayer, that you will come to me so that I may lift you up to the Father and put YOUR NAME before Him. And, I thank you if you've prayed us through the last couple months of difficulty in our lives. I didn't understand until Sunday just how incredible the words, "Can I pray for you?" really are! I will never ever take for granted prayer requests again.
Thank you God for Sunday's message in song. Thank you for my grandmother's life and testimony. Thank you for a church family and wonderful friends, both close to me and those whom I've only "met" in the figurative sense. Thank you for putting THIS passage on my heart and making it clear to me that you ARE the God of Comfort.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Is that not the CUTEST? Of course, we LOVE monkeys, if you haven't been able to tell so far! I'm telling you, I have the most awesome parents ever!! They spoil Malachi (and us) SO MUCH! I'm so very thankful!
As far as what ELSE has been going on...
Today was crazy hair day at daycare...
(Not sure why daddy looks so crazy in this picture...haha!)
And...yes, Daddy and I went with our good friends to see Dave Ramsey LIVE in Dallas this past weekend. It was INCREDIBLE. HUGE kick in the pants to keep going. I'm working on a full-blown post for that one by itself!!
We're starting to work on 2nd b-day preparations and, we've discovered that Malachi is OBSSESSED with choo-choos! So, we'll be putting together a choo choo train party. Not a Thomas the Train party. Just a generic choo choo party. (I'm not into characters all that much...) But, it's going to be a blow-out if I can manage to get all of the ideas in my head to come together!!
Other than that, we're happy, we're healthy, we're on our way to being completely debt free and our marriage is SO MUCH better for it. However, I have one prayer request to ask for...there are some changes that could be coming up in our life (READ: NOT baby related...hahahaha) and we're praying that the Lord will have HIS will. We're also praying that HIS will is OUR will!! I don't feel comfortable saying any more than that right now, just suffice it to say, it would be REALLY great for our family if the Lord sees fit to answer our prayers in the affirmative!!
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
After tons of pre-show games with the audience, it was time for Dave to come out and it was SO exciting!!! I swear, it was like being at a concert!
He used TONS of powerpoint examples to get you focused on what he was trying to say!! The first one here is a picture of a pack of gazelles. I've always heard to get "Gazelle intense" but never knew what it meant. Well, we figured it out! He explained that he was reading his Bible one night and read Proverbs 6:5 which states "Deliver thyself as a roe from the hand of the hunter, and as a bird from the hand of the fowler." (In Dave's Bible it said deliver yourself as a "gazelle" from the hand of the hunter) After asking God why he was using animal metaphors, Dave turned on the TV that night only to see, on the discovery channel, a group of gazelles running from their predator, a cheetah. He said he laughed because he then understood why God chose to show him that particular verse. Cheetahs can get from 0-60 mph in only 4 leaps. Cheetahs are a gazelle's most ardent predator. Only, gazelles can leap pretty quickly themselves and often outrun their predator because they have STAMINA!! The whole point was to RUN THE RACE AWAY FROM DEBT, just like a gazelle runs to get away from it's predator. You are in a race for your life. WIN THE RACE!!!
Stay tuned for the conclusion of our trip!! I'll give you a bit of a break since I have learned that if my blogs are too long, you won't read the whole thing before tuning out and I want you to get this!! It's LIFE CHANGING STUFF, I TELL YA!!!
Thursday, March 4, 2010
However, when Sandy posted about where she was 10 years ago, I thought it would be fun to go back 10 years in MY memory bank. (P.S. If you're reading this on Thomas' facebook, obviously we have this blog set up to upload to BOTH of our facebook accounts. I'm typically the blogger of the family, so, this is written purely from MY perspective!! Maybe we can talk Thomas into writing a blog one day soon!! His last one was when I was still pregnant...hmmm, that's been long enough hasn't it?) That being said...here goes!
10 years ago, I was a senior in high school preparing for my prom with my sweetheart. I had just finished playing "Marty" in our high school musical production of "Grease!" I was getting ready to graduate high school and begin attending college at West Texas A&M University. My senior pictures were done with my precious puppy Odie (whom we lost last year...love you Odie!) My graduation announcements were sent out.
Mrs. Gwinn's Physics class was coming to an end. And, what a WONDERFUL class that was. I will NEVER forget my wonderful physics partner (you know who you were...100 points to the person that guesses who my partner was EVERY SINGLE TIME!) - I will never forget the projects or the hovercraft or mailing a Pringle to the school. Mrs. Gwinn, I will never forget F=MA!!!
2000 was the year that the public, over the PA, prayer before a football game got taken out of the lineup in Texas. I will never forget my experience in trying to change that. Thank you to those of you that supported me in that endeavor. It taught me a lot!
2000 was the year that Thomas and I began our "countdown to marriage!" I think it was supposed to be sometime in 2005, but I don't remember, actually. I DO remember the flip-chart I had in my room forEVER. Everyday I would pull off a number to leave the number of days we had until we would get married. I remember it was somewhere in the 2000s when I started and somewhere in the 1800s when I fell off the bandwagon! I remember coloring page after page of numbers in Speech class. Kelly Tillman helped me...good times!
I remember Teresa Hassell having a FREAKED out look when she saw us fighting one day before class. She couldn't believe it!! haha I remember making out in our car (sorry mom and dad) before school. My kids won't be allowed to sit in their car with a member of the opposite sex either...I understand now! I remember Thomas leaving for Seattle with the choir, and me staying home. I remember crying my EYES out in the rain while my best friend, Chrissy Warren, consoled me!! (Drama, right?) I remember the notebook that Thomas brought back to me from Seattle. He had written me a note every day he was there and then gave it back to me when he got back. We continued that for a long time. The last note in that notebook was to him, from me, on our wedding day!!
I remember worrying about going "off" (more like across town) to college and leaving him in high school. I remember wondering if we would really make it or if SO MANY NAYSAYERS were right that we would break up. (Guess we proved 'em wrong huh honey?)
WOW - 10 years has gone by SO fast. I can't believe my reunion is coming up. But, I couldn't be happier that I'm taking the same wonderful man with me that I took to all my proms!!
10 years, a great job, a cute house, a wonderful family, an A-W-E-S-O-M-E (hehe...love you honey) marriage and a beautiful baby later. Thank you Thomas. You are the love of my life! PHS - 143 - OLIFE!