Posts tagged family
Watching Grief

   A couple Thursdays ago was the strangest day emotionally I have had in a long time, and let's face it, I've had some days. That morning I found out a project I had been working on for months was not done in the right way so I had to redo the entire thing over the weekend; stress and pressure. Later Daniel went to his final interview, I believe it was the 5th one, and we waited with anticipation as later on they called and said he had passed that and had one more to go, excitement and hope. In the evening Daniel received a group family call to discuss taking his father off of life support, grief, deep sadness and some frustration. Talk about a range of emotions all stuffed into one day.

  The few days that followed that were much the same. I had to work from the time I woke up till the time I went to sleep on that book project all the while Daniel getting word that he was officially offered the job and sadly by the end of the weekend that his dad had passed away.

 It is in days like these that you kind of just float, more just existing until you get to the next day. It's hard for me to even put words around it to explain. All the while I do feel the Lord speaking to me.

  Watching Daniel, whom I love so much, have to grieve someone so dear to them is a new page for us as a married couple. Daniel is always my rock as I am the one usually having the emotional struggles, now the table is turned and I must be his rock. I can't pretend to understand something I have never experienced, I can't tell him what to feel or how to be or even expect him to always be the man I have been married to for nearly 6 years. I suppose when something like this happens, when someone loses like this, a part of their heart is broken forever and a part of them dies with that person and its only about letting time allow them to live again in a different way, a new normal.

  I am the one that says how I feel, why I write this blog, but it is so different with Daniel. He is the strong silent type. He actually told me the day his dad died that he had to make a choice; to lay in the bed under the covers and grieve that way, or get up and live, and that he chose the latter. I have no idea how I will react when this is my situation but I would venture to guess I would choose crying under my covers, at least for a while.

 Sometimes I just see him staring off into the distance and I can almost see him thinking of his dad and the memories playing across his mind. How unreal it feels, how impossible it feels, how lonely it is to be away from his mom and siblings. The hardest part about watching grief is not having any comfort to offer, no real way to bring them that relief that you so want to bring. I just know I don't want him to feel like he has to walk through it alone, that we all go on and the world keeps spinning while he just wants it to stop and feel as broken as his heart does. 

 We will go out for the funeral next week and I am so glad he will be able to be with his family and grieve along side of them. They can offer something to him through this time that I simply can't because I haven't been there for every corny joke, for every Christmas memory, for every football game and reggae dance in the kitchen. I think sometimes it's these most ordinary of moments that we miss the most, because they just made that person who they were. And his 7 siblings, they know all those little moments that they already miss so much. 

 These are the days you talk about the moment you get married, the ones that are so far from your mind and the days that seem like they won't come for so very long. The days that are the worst, the days that are sick, the days poor, the days when all you can say is "are you ok?" It's almost as if in some ways I feel like I have a chance, as much as I fail at it, to love him back and hold him up just a little for all the times he has for me. It helps me know the feeling of what its like to care so much but not have any solid solutions.

 One moment at a time, one day at a time, and when the weeks and months pass and when it still might feel just as hard as the first day, still being there and being sad and broken and lost without him, it's still OK.

Eisy is ONE!

I cannot believe my little baby is one year old already. How has a year flown by so fast. Just this time last year we were figuring out how to do a new born again and I was recovering from my c-section. 

What a joy this little one has been in our lives!

His birthday was actually on August 27th but we were out in California so I wanted to write this little post about him before it is too far gone. We went to Disneyland to celebrate his birthday and that was really fun!

So, my little Eisy....

He is overall super easy going, but when he is tired, hungry or mad, you know it, sounds a TINY bit like his mom POSSIBLY;)

He is also so funny and random, reminds me of the way my brother Troy was, and still is lots of the time, just off the wall funny.

For instance, he decided on our trip to California it would be a great idea to start gurgling his formula from the back seat to entertain himself. He did this hilarious laugh that I can't even describe which has already faded away, sadly. Most recently he does the "rolling r" sound that you make when you speak Spanish. I don't even think Ashton can make that sound yet! ha.

He also just jibber-jabbers away making up his own words. It is so much different from Ashton, in that, Ashton really didn't speak much until he knew many words and then just started speaking sentences one day, Eisy just pretends he is talking already. I suppose part of it is having a 4 year old brother as well.

His most recent additional words have been "uh-oh", and grabbing the cell phone and putting it up to his ear and saying "heeewooo" so cute! I think we may have a lover of talking on our hands.  He also stood up from the floor without holding onto anything recently, he will carefully take small steps when you hold his hands but has no interest in walking on his own yet.

He is also loves to sing and likes it best if you will sing with him, just basically saying "ahhhh" for a really long time. Ashton, E and I did that for a while today and he also liked doing that with his Aunt Kelsey and Uncle Casey. He loves to laugh, just like the rest of us, and Ashton can really make him laugh. He is tough but also sensitive, like tonight he wasn't feeling very well and just wanted to lay on his mommy, as baby's do. With both of my brothers when they held him for the first time in a long time he just laid his head on their shoulders and snuggled them, I think they must smell like my dad or something. He really likes my dad as well, little laid back soul mates. 

 He is going through what seems to be a bit of a separation anxiety stage with both Daniel and I at different times, which Ashton never went through. 

His little skin problem is still a bit unperdictable but it is really clear recently. Daniel's mom told us that all her kids struggled with eczema and told us all the foods that set them off so we are trying those now.

 I love him so much and just sometimes stop and look at my two precious sons. I love how different they are and how much they are like both their dad and I.

Happy 1st Birthday Eisy Gideon, I love you so much you are a light and laughter in our home.

Ashley JacksonfamilyComment
10 Potty Training Tips for the Nervous First Time Mommy!! {part 2}

This is part two, to read part one go HERE.

My 10 Potty Training Tips

from one nervous first time mommy to another:)

Disclaimer: I am in no way saying I am a professional or know this is the best way. There are plenty of wonderful, great and right ways to potty train. This is just what I did that worked for me!

8. Try a doll or Stuffed Animal to Demonstrate
Some people suggest a wet doll, and if you have such a thing go ahead and use that! I have a son and I wasn't going to buy a doll just for this.
I used his favorite stuffed bunny.
We put a pair of his undies on it and I had the bunny go potty, get a sticker and an M&M.
I really only did this once, but he thought it was fun and I would have him tell the bunny the same things I was telling him. 
He loved it.

9. Run Back and Forth Like a Crazy Person 
When Accidents Happen

Like I said, most going potty will be on the floor or chairs, or anywhere but the potty to start. 
It's what they are used to with their diapers, so what can we expect?
Try as best you can to watch them and run them to the potty seat as soon as you see/hear/etc the act in action.
Remember to never scold or shame when they have accidents.
 You will read everywhere that we didn't do this to them when they were learning to walk, why with potty training? If they have gone completley on the floor and you know they are done point to the potty spot and say
"Don't go pee pee on the floor...{run to the bathroom} 
go pee pee in the potty"
Some say to do this 10-15 times...I got tired after 5 so that is what we did.
He thought it was funny.
{I also did this with the bunny once and had him tell the bunny the words}

Many say it's through this repetition that they actually start getting it! 
It clicks!
I'm not sure, but it was worth a try.

10. Have a party when it finally happens!!
Call people, dance, clap, jump up and down, get REALLY excited!
You really won't have to pretend, you will be that excited and they will love that you are so excited about something they have accomplished!

{this is the nitty gritty for those who like details}

The reality of it....
{the play by play of how it happened for us but I am sure not everyone will have the same story}

Day 1: 
I did all of these things as rigidly as I could. 
Going to the bathroom every 15 or sometimes 5 minutes was very tiring. There were times when he did not want to sit on the potty again and he fought me. There were moments I thought maybe he wasn't ready, maybe I was pushing too hard, maybe I was scarring him for life...but I made myself stick with it the whole day. I can do anything for one day. He had 3-4 accidents that first day and we went through an entire pack of his undies. For his nap I put a towel under his sheet but he ended up being dry.
By the afternoon he had gone in the potty at least a tiny bit one or two times.
He wasn't going number 2, I think he was nervous and he deals a bit with constipation anyways. The first night he was really uncomfortable because of it and wouldn't go to sleep. We decided to put a diaper on him that night. Some say don't do that at all, it confuses them. Some say use a pull up and yet others say if going number two scares them for some reason it allows them to relieve themselves while in the learning process. Use your discretion with your child.

Day 2:
When we got up I took his diaper off and had him try and go potty. I think his diaper was a little wet but no number two. He fought me this time, he cried to keep his diaper, for a while..but I reminded him he was working towards his toy and he was a big boy now. I had to force him to try that morning for 2 minute periods on the toilet. I found him songs about potty training on youtube and let him listen/watch them. I think it helped him see what a cool thing it was!

We basically repeated the cycle from the day before but with less rigidity. This time his accidents would just be a few trickles I would notice and I would run and put him on the potty.
That day for nap I left him with his undies and he had a big pee accident but just through them in the wash and changed him and reminded him it was OK and that accidents happen.

By dinner time he was really in pain from his constipation and from the way he was acting I knew it was time for him to try and go. I had been having him sit on a "Cars" baby seat than goes on top of the big toilet, but as I researched anxiety in going poo I came across information that having a small seat where they can have leverage with their feet and push against could be much better for this. I had him sit on a little potty we had previously had and there he went!

That night we put a diaper on him again and early in the morning my husband got up with him when he said he needed to go potty. He thought he went, his diaper was dry and changed him into his underwear.

Day 3:
I was really sick this day for some reason, so it made it slow going. I noticed less accidents and started having him going more in his little potty which he seemed to like more. 
My sister-in-law took him for me for the majority of the morning. When they returned she told me she had kept asking him if he had to go and he kept telling her no. 
I was wondering if he was getting scared about it?
He still fought me with "trying" so I stopped asking him so frequently. He wasn't having any accidents, didn't have any when with his cousins, and I just concluded he can hold it pretty well.
I started notice him doing the potty dance 
{you know the one you do when you really have to go}
this was another step in success...not going, holding, doing something I noticed!!
I would have him go and continue to praise him.
That night we did not put a diaper on him and he didn't seem to mind.
Day 4:
He woke up dry. I asked him if he needed to go, and he told me no. I decided to stop asking him so often and just look for that potty dance. I needed to do errands this day and this was the true test. The boy loves to GO so I told him he had to try before we left, which he did, and that he needed to tell me when he had to go. He said OK and I packed extra clothes and undies in my purse. We were out nearly three hours and he had at least half a glass of water during that time. I had him try when we got home and he went.
The rest of that day every time I asked him if he needed to go he said no, so again, I stopped asking him and let him play in his room as he normally does. After this he started running out telling me
"mommy I need to go potty!"
So call it a day and three follow up days or call it four days...
I am proud to say he is potty trained, and it wasn't as scary as I thought it was!

If you have any questions at all feel free to ask me, nothing is stupid and nothing is silly!
Good luck, you can do it!!!