Monday, October 26, 2009


When I was working in public relations and event marketing measurement was always a hot topic. How do you know if you are moving the needle? Do How to you quantify how many people saw your message? How many responded to it? How effective it was? Blah, blah, blah...

It becomes a challenge to constantly try to prove the merit of your programs and to justify the budget expenditure. I am sure that has only gotten harder as the economy has turned and the new corporate buzzword is belt-tightening. That is certainly one thing I don't miss.

I will say that I often find myself looking for that same measurement in my current job. How do I know my programs (discipline, play, learning, household management) are working? Is my target audience (Emelia, Sam, Jeff) responding? How effective is my message ("don't throw things", "poop in the potty", "eat more vegetables", "what are you thankful for today")? It is funny because I have better measurement tools now. I have real-time feedback and a very vocal (albeit small) focus group.

Emelia lets me know through her actions and words how I am doing. She definitely gets the potty message. At Costco this weekend we both went to the bathroom. She went pee, then I had to go. She says, oh so loud and proud, "are you going to go poop in the potty like a big girl?"

Sam also lets me know through his actions. When he is done with his meal he shoves his bib in his mouth and spits. This is a messy but effective tool for ending meal time.

I have taken to measuring my success in small wins. I like to think it is like stringing together a pearl necklace. Each pearl has some value by itself but when they are all together on a necklace they can be priceless.

Today my measurement is five nights of sleeping through the night, eight days of dry underwear (Emelia's not mine), three days of a clean kitchen and seven loads of laundry that need to be done.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

God is Good

So to update my Kindermusik sitch...

At Bible study I was all geared up to tell the teacher that we could not continue with the class when a very nice lady offered to come to our house and watch Sam while I take Emelia to class. It is such a good solution. The woman had just been talking about how since she retired she did not feel like she was needed anymore. I need her! What a blessing when God answers two prayers in one situation. Do you think he gives himself a big pat on the back or do you think he just says yep that is life as the master of the universe. I am not sure but I think it is pretty cool.

In other news... God is REALLY good! Here is a draft I saved last Friday night.

"So I never imagined that being a parent was this hard, and we haven't even begun to think about the teenage years. Right now we are potty training. As usual, I have read several books on the subject and none of them really answer any questions or give and real solid advice except for don't make a big deal of it your kid will not go to kindergarten in diapers. Great, not helpful at all. This really is one of the most trying things I think I have experienced as a parent."

Seriously, those first few days were so hard. Emelia is a pretty smart kid and I am used to her picking things up pretty quickly so I wasn't sure if she was being defiant or just wasn't getting it but she would stand there and pee and then ask me to clean up her pee. Really?!? Then Friday morning we had a blow up. She was whining about everything. I put her in time out, she started to whine, I yelled stop it, she started t cry really hard and peed all over the time out chair. I was beside myself with anger/frustration. Then she whispers "dear Jesus please don't let mommy talk that way to me." Are you kidding. My heart broke. Into a million pieces. Then I put her on the potty and I held her little head and I leaned in and I prayed. I prayed long and loud. She went in the potty that afternoon, which she had done before so I wasn't overly excited. Then we went to t eh pumpkin patch with my aunt. I stopped obsessing because well I was busy. Then that evening she says. I have to go potty. So we took her to my aunt's bathroom and she peed. It was a breakthrough. Then Jeff stayed home with her on Saturday and just totally focused on her, pumped her full of liquids and put her on the potty every hour and by the end of the day she had stayed dry all day. (She got a dress up dress if she stayed dry all day.) She has not had an accident since Friday and she even pooped in the potty last night. This was a breakthrough as she had not pooped - at all - since we started potty training. God is so good.

Okay, we are off to music class now. and to buy a Tiana dolly for our poop reward.

Friday, October 02, 2009

The Ups and Downs

Yet again it has been awhile since I posted. When I am up at night feeding Sam I think about the posts I would write but then I never get the time to really do it. That is actually only a partial truth. I have time but I have to choose what I want to do with that time. I could clean the bathroom, sit down with a cup of tea and watch HGTV or write on my blog. Lately I have been choosing the second option.

Things here are interesting. I spent a lot of this week feeling overwhelmed. There have been several personal conflicts that have come up with people in my life which I find to be emotionally draining. I have also been over-scheduling myself. I am the nursery/toddler director for church which isn't all that hard but lately has been difficult due to more kids than volunteers. I am hosting a baby shower because as my friend Lindsey says, "anytime you push something out of your body you deserve a party, I don't care how many times you have done it before!" I have joined my normal Tuesday morning Bible study, which I need to be doing. I have also enrolled Emelia in Kindermusik, which I have decided I don't need to be doing. She really likes it but it conflicts with Sam's nap schedule (so does Bible study so that is back to back days of nap nightmare.) The other kids want to love on Sam in a really aggressive way and he is a distraction to the other kids and to me. Emelia doesn't get the interaction from me she deserves and I end up leaving class feeling like a bad mom on all accounts. So I have decided we are not going back. This is very difficult for me because it feels a little like I have failed, plus a very nice woman from church teaches the class and I am sure she will be disappointed. But I have been praying about it and I just feel like it is the right thing to do so I have to stick to my guns. Wish me luck on that one.

Sam is still not sleeping completely through the night but is down to one feeding a night which I think I will have to actually cut out for him sometime soon. I am giving him two more weeks until we go to full-on sleep training. I can do the one time a night thing and not feel to bad in the morning. More than anything what I am doing is trying to learn contentment in my situation. The author of the book we are doing for Bible study says "it can be well with your soul even though it is not well with your circumstances." That was pretty profound for me. I can rest in God's love, know he is the Lord of my life and still be frustrated that Sam is not sleeping or Emelia is whining or whatever. So that is what I am trying to do. I want to be able to rely on my rock when it feels like life is crumbling around me. Don't get me wrong, I don't feel that way often but usually once a month or so there is a day that makes me feel like I can't do it anymore. I had one of those days on Wednesday but I felt much better by Thursday. Sometimes when they are both crying and there does not seem to be an end in sight it just feels like too much for my feeble little mind. It is then that I need to just turn from the circumstance and dig in to my soul.

I am posting some more pictures because well, I finally took some. Check out Sam in his little "man" outfit, a sweater, jeans and a pair of vans. I mean really!