Just a little patience, yeahhhh

It’s hard to pee with so many around.

You know I don’t like going poop in a crowd …

(GnR will never be the same now lol)

I think I get a gold star patience award for having a 20 min discussion about why it isn’t cool to poop your pants and then hang out in it. It’s not cool to be stinky. It’s not good for your butt. Do you want to have an ouchy bottom? And so on.

Why is this even a thing? While I’m doing it there’s a little voice in the back of my head going WTF kid why don’t you want this diaper changed ASAP? Why does a tiny human need to be cojoled out of his poopy drawers? I finally broke down and bribed him with M&Ms. A cooperative diaper change is a much happier experience for us all.

I’ve heard it’s more of a boy thing. My mom doesn’t have any stories like this about me. In fact, in her stories I pop out already talking, potty trained and refuse to even bother with diapers. Have I mentioned I’m over 40 and my mom’s had a lot of time to forget? I suspect there’s some holes in her story.

I also suspect there are a lot of future conversations with the toddler where I’m going to find myself going WTF am I talking about. I can only imagine what lies in store for me in the future…

“Why you can’t jump off the roof into the pool and other tragedies waiting to happen”

“The reason you have to wear clothes, and yes that includes pants”

“Ice cream is not suitable for dinner even though dad thinks it is”

What conversations have you had that go on the ridiculous list?

potty training
Sometimes, my patience pays off. He may be reading the book upside down, but at least he’s trying and “going potty like daddy” 🙂

Potty Train(spot)ing

When I look at the those potty training books that promise Potty Training in 3 Days, or read articles with similar hard core “get it done in a few days” methods, they always make me think of that part in the movie Trainspotting where the main guy decides to get clean.

“Stage one, preparation: For this you will need one room which you will not leave. Soothing music… Ice cream, vanilla, one large tub of… One bucket for urine, one for feces… One television and one bottle of Valium…”

Seriously, most of them start out with the info that you will not be leaving the house or doing anything but living life around the toilet for the next few days.

We are taking the more relaxed approach, meaning he should be ready by the time he gets to high school. Yesterday I tried the “no pants” method. So I spent yesterday cleaning pee off the floor. We also had a moment where we just stared at each other with me going “Poop. Poop? Are you going to poop? Come on just poop. Put it in the hole. I’ll give you a whole handful of M&Ms if you just poop.” He farted, laughed, and asked for more M&Ms.

So that’s where we are at on this magical journey. I’m not ready to go hardcore and shack up with just me, the kid and the potty just yet. But I can see how that might become appealing at some point.

So how did you get through this? Or how’s it going? Got any good horror stories? All tips, tricks and personal anecdotes that make me feel better about cleaning up pee are welcome 🙂

potty training

 

The Real Reason Toddlers Have Tantrums

My 2-year-old is going through some intense development right now, and the resulting tantrums are quite impressive. I am lucky they are short-lived because the decibel level of the screams could possibly cause some eardrum issues. If I have any future hearing loss, I’ll be telling my son he did this to me as a toddler. I’ve read a lot about it being the result of them not being able to communicate, and then the frustration manifests itself as a screaming demon. The articles didn’t actually say “screaming demon,” but I know what they were getting at. So I’m going to unveil the mystery behind what really causes tantrums:

  1. You gave them the cookie they asked for. It was the wrong cookie.
  2. You gave them the right cookie, but you put it in the wrong spot. Cookie is now on the floor.
  3. You picked the cookie up off the floor. No!! They were going to eat that.
  4. We’re done with cookies and now want cars. You can’t find the right car
  5. You found the right car, but put it on the table and he wanted it on the floor.

Do you see a pattern here? It’s obviously us. We’re doing it all wrong. Our mind reading skills are just not sharp enough. Some days we get it. And some days, you just have to hand them the whole darn bag of cookies and walk away.

toddler tantrum

One rough week

*This needs an intro of sad violin music as I proceed to whine a little about my week:

Last week was not all rainbows and sunshine. It was pretty damn rough. On Sunday I was convinced my uterus was falling out. Or some other really important part. I spent Monday being poked and prodded by the doc. On Tuesday a very close friend tried to commit suicide and nearly succeeded. On Wednesday my mom collapsed and went to the ER. On Thursday I learned she needed heart surgery right away. Then on Friday we loaded 2 dogs and a toddler into the car for the six hour ride to mom’s house.

Today is Sunday and things are looking better. My uterus is actually still in place. What has scared me was actually scar tissue from a delivery tear that had gotten irritated and made itself a little more obvious than usual. In fact, the doc complimented me on my strong vag muscles and told me to keep up with the Kegels. I guess all that squeezing really paid off.

My friend is getting the help she badly needs and won’t be released anytime soon. I’m still sad about what happened but hoping she gets better. Things won’t be the same but obviously things needed to change.

My mom got an angioplasty and didn’t need a stent. She is feeling better but also needs back surgery so I’ll be making another trip home for that. One thing at a time. It made her day for us all to be there for her.

The trip wasn’t all that bad and I was pretty impressed with Keelan on the way there. On the way home there were a few extreme screeching tantrum moments, but after the week I’d had I was like, eh…that’s all you’ve got?

It’s good to be home and I’m looking forward to a better week. Here’s to hoping Monday brings good things!

funny-picture-how-you-can-tell-if-mom-had-a-bad-week

10 Steps to Starting a Business with No Money and No Debt

Three Muses Inspired Clothing
The Three Muses Boutique

I’m going to veer from my usual geek/parenting posts to talk about how I started my business without spending any money or taking on any debt. This is geared toward retail and craft business, but I think some of the principles could apply to any business.

I started Three Muses Inspired Clothing in 2005, after selling a bunch of my old costumes on eBay and discovering there was a market for what I do. By 2007 I quit my regular job and went full time with the costume business. In 2009 I opened a retail boutique, which I ran for 7 years. During that entire time, I was never in debt, I didn’t even owe money on a credit card. My business did well because I started with a good foundation. When I closed in 2016 it was because I wanted to focus on my family and new baby. And I knew if I wanted to do it again, I already knew how to get it started

So here’s the 10 steps I followed to create my business. This isn’t an overnight solution. It’s a long term method for people who are ready to get started working toward their goals instead of just talking about them and dreaming.

  1. Forget about the business plan. If I sat around trying to write a business plan then I may have never gotten started. My plan looked something like this: Make things, Sell them, Open store, Sell more things. Just know what you want to do, and start doing it in some small way.
  2. Stop asking for money and start earning it. When I went to the SBA, I was the only one in the room with 20k in the bank and actually ready to start a business. Everyone else was there to find out how to get funding and apply for loans. Now everyone wants to get quick money with crowdfunding. Wat happened to earning and saving for something you want?
  3. This is where the retail-specific advice starts – start selling on eBay (or some other well established sales site). Sell stuff you already have or stuff you make. Price it to sell. I sold my old costumes and then when I ran out of costumes I started pulling old clothes out and transforming them into costumes to sell. I also sold a lot of extra junk I had around the house. I started with eBay because it’s easy, you already have a ready audience and it doesn’t cost anything unless you sell something.
  4. Open a PayPal account and use it only for business. All sales go into the account and any purchases for the business should come out of that account, not your personal bank account.
  5. Reinvest that money into the business and don’t use it for anything else. In the future, don’t use credit cards if you can’t pay it off all at once.
  6. Use your time on the sales site to learn about your business- what sells, best pricing, how to ship, dealing with international sales, etc.
  7. When you move out of hobby mode and actually start making enough money to call it a business, then get legal. You can visit your local SBA for help on this. They will let you know what you need to do (business license, Tax ID, zoning, etc.) Once you have all the legal stuff squared away, you can open a business bank account.
  8. When you have your own customer base then move to your own website and start crafting your brand.
  9. Promote the hell out of yourself without spending a ton of money on advertising by going out and getting involved in the community. I made costumes so dressed up and went to conventions and handed out cards. I promoted my product by getting out and being seen and photographed wearing it.
  10. Keep saving and reinvesting. Make regular deposits from PayPal to your business bank account. Once you’ve saved up enough, start shopping for a place to open your store. (Or do whatever big business move you were saving up for) Congrats, goal achieved!

The unique thing about starting a business this way is that you should already have a successful web business by the time you make a big leap or big investment. So you have a safety net. My website floated my store for the first year. Then things evened out and by the end the store outsold the website. This is a totally unconventional method, but it worked for me so I figure it could work for others too. I wanted to share since I see so many people wanting to start a business but not making progress because they are too busy just looking for funding. It’s more rewarding to start working toward your goal and fund it yourself. Unless you need like a million dollars to get started building jumbo jets or something. Then yeah, you should probably start looking at funding and investors. lol.

Good Luck! And if you have a small biz you are trying to get going, feel free to advertise yourself in the comments 🙂