i have 4 diapers…

…and 24 pull-ups left.

My choice is either to buy more diapers or potty train a 23 month old and my daughter is ready to potty train and it will be one less drain on my bank account so, ‘why not?’.

I know she’s ready, but I’m not sure if I am. She’s my baby and I know she’s my last and I don’t know if I’m ready to call her my ‘big girl’ yet. She’s everyone’s baby…my boys especially. This little girl is so spoiled and I don’t stop the love or the spoiling.

Tonight in Target we bought new ‘big girl Minnie Mouse panties’ (her fav is Minnie Mouse) and as we walked through the store a little boy, about 12 months younger than her, called her a baby. She was mad! She didn’t like it! I even tried to say, “Well, aren’t you Mom Mom’s (me) baby?” and her defiant answer was, “NO”!!

So then I asked if she was a big girl and was ready to sit on the potty (Men – forgive me – I know you’re ready to hit the “x” but don’t yet) and she said no, she didn’t want to be a big girl. She told me “baby” and pointed at herself. I was sooooo tempted to let my little girl continue to think that she was my baby but all that would have done is stunt her growth, mentally and physically.

Not her fault.

As much as I hate the torment that her father has chosen to put her through mentally because he has ‘ducked’ out of his marriage without trying to put any effort into it, it’s not her fault. I just have to protect her from the harm that his lifestyle may bring her.

My little lady is so much stronger than I could ever wish to be. And she doesn’t even know how strong she is or will have to be in the future. I sit and tear up sometimes just watching how care free she is because she has no clue how much her father and his family don’t want to play an active, healthy, role in her life. They only play an active role when they are ready to or choose to or have time to or have money to.

For example, it’s normal that her father will get mad at me for something and then will pull the “I want to see my daughter” card. So I say, ok, as long as she isn’t around your felon brothers (still on probation until 2022) or mother (who has her own issues), then I’m cool with it.

Control.

Then he always responds with, “you can’t control who she’s around when she’s with me” which basically, confirms all of my fears – that she’ll be around his entire dysfunctional family that drinks a lot, excluding the one brother that isn’t dysfunctional (because he wants nothing to do with them). So, then I say that I’m uncomfortable with it, and then I become the ‘witch’…because he can’t possibly take care of himself and live on his own or take care of his daughter on his own, right? That’s too much to ask, right? He gets to be a bachelor and live like he’s 23 again, with a felon roommate/brother (that has a conviction that includes aggravated assault with a weapon) (and not just a conviction – he was in prison for 6 years) right? I should have NO say who my 23 month old daughter is around, considering how much her entire fathers’ family treats women like garbage.

False.

He’s a dad now. He needs to act like it. He just doesn’t know how. Good luck to him.

Thank goodness I have an amazing attorney.

My confidence level has come from so many places but one of them (not the main one) is that I found an attorney, at the last minute, that didn’t make me feel like I was being overly dramatic, or needy, or anything but jilted and wronged. She believed me. She felt my pain. She is going to work to get the most for me that I can possibly get, under laws written strategically for the protection of fathers.

Whether it was an act or not, I told my attorney exactly how I felt, how every other male attorney made me feel like I was ‘every other jilted wife’ and why I felt as though I needed to fight my hardest to win what was rightly mine, even after only seven months of marriage. And she agreed, she believed me, she got it, she understood…she took my case.

My soon-to-be-ex made soooo many mistakes including possibly opening up his girlfriend, Bethany D., for a lawsuit herself, that all I can say right now is to take your time…think through your choices…make sure you really want to do this (…or if other people are influencing your decisions.)

Dating a divorcee’.

Ending a marriage isn’t as easy as walking away. If you decide to date a divorcee and they’ve told you that they were the one that walked away after seven months, without question, without remorse, …you should be the one questioning things. Don’t hesitate to think, “this man is almost 40 and he can’t keep his marriage together more than seven months?? He must have issues.” And if you think these things, I promise you will be on-target.

Luckily, I’ve begun to move on. I wasn’t the one that inflicted the pain this time (or the last) so my conscience is clean. I will smile with a big smile and know that I’ve been true to my kids…that I tried everything. I wasn’t the one that bailed or chose another ‘thing’ over my marriage.

I will know that I was the one that taught my daughter so many important life lessons including how to live without diapers. That I told my soon-to-be-ex that these big life events were happening in her life and he offered zero support.

I did it.

She did it.

We did it. (or at least this week we will do it!)

Girl power!

Advertisements

some of my sanity needs to come from working out

Why is it so easy to put weight on and soo darn difficult to take weight off?

In 2013, I worked really hard to get into much better shape than I previously had been. Over the span of my 14 year relationship with my ex-husband, I slowly added waayy too much weight to my body, most of it I’ll blame on my travel schedule and stress. One other contributor could have been that I just really love food, but I think I’m in denial that that could be the reason. (completely kidding) I especially like the comfort foods with lots of cheese and yummy carbs and of course those are the foods that will help you gain weight. But at the time, when I was being disciplined in my work out schedule and diet, I felt the best that I had ever felt in years.

I felt healthy, lighter, and more energetic. I think part of the ‘spark’ that my Irish Idiot saw in me, when we were dating, was that I just felt good in my own skin. Then I fell in love and slowed down on my workouts because I love being in love and loved doing anything and everything with my husband. Beer didn’t help the situation either but relaxing with a couple of beers, on the patio, or while watching the Cowboys, was a nice ending to the week. And my soon-to-be-ex isn’t the workout type, or at least hadn’t been until he started cheating (should have been a big sign) so our outings were aimed more at ‘how much fun’ we could squeeze in rather than finding a balance between a healthy lifestyle and enjoying extra calories. Then I got pregnant and added even more weight. So now I really have to focus on this to get healthy, mainly to help reduce my stress in addition to feeling better.

My Favorite Workout

During my freshman year of college, I was in the best shape of my life. I was working at a gym and was working out at least two hours a day, with running being my primary cardio workout. And I loved it. Running is such an outlet for me – I get lost in my own thoughts and don’t even realize how long I’ve been running, but it’s so hard to make it happen now, especially now that I’m a single mom again. I’m hoping to find a work/life/kid/get healthy balance soon but for now, I’m squeezing it in whenever I can.

I’m not a huge fan of running on the treadmill – I’d much rather be outside but it’s hard to balance being alone with three kids, or even just one, and going for a run early in the morning, before it’s sweltering, or in the evening because of extra-curricular activities, so I’m going to try what I did to lose weight in 2013. Insanity…the Beach Body workout. I lost about 40lbs and 5 sizes in about 5 or 6 months. I just need to commit.

Two weeks ago I pulled out my DVD’s and did the first workout. It was exhilarating! I thought, “I can do this for 60 days. It will fly by.” Then on Tuesday I had to give myself a small pep talk that I’d feel much better once I got through it. Then Wednesday…I just was exhausted, so I skipped. I felt extremely guilty for skipping, so Thursday I worked out again. Then Friday…I’ll just blame it on the Irish Idiot because he kept harassing me via text and phone calls and I was emotionally drained, although I realize that working out would have reduced my stress.

Then last week rolled around…and I wanted nothing to do with working out. I was so focused on 15 different things, that I prioritized them higher than my health. And I feel it. It was a bad decision. I should have put my needs first for this one thing.

I told myself that I would complete one week, then write a blog post about how great I felt, and in all honesty, I was writing it to help me keep myself accountable to continuing my work out schedule. So when I hadn’t had time to write a new blog post about it last week, I think that I used it as a crutch that “if no one knew that I was on this new journey, then I didn’t have anyone to answer to for skipping last week”.

My first goal.

So my truth is that I’m starting again today. I’m on my journey to reach my first goal of losing 25 lbs. I could care less how long it takes me, even though I keep thinking that I’ll wake up tomorrow and be where I want to be. After the first 25 lbs., I’ll re-evaluate and set a new goal. I’m hoping that you join me on my journey either by doing something to get healthy or smiling at my struggles and successes or by keeping me accountable to my goals. I can only imagine there will be a few more posts about my journey, probably mainly aimed at bringing humor through some of my fiascos with exercising in front of the TV but also to keep me accountable.

My shameless plug (I get nothing for saying this, btw).

When I first worked out with ‘Insanity’, I felt cheesy admitting it because I purchased it from an infomercial that I watched one Saturday morning. Now, though, Beach Body has really done an amazing job building their portfolio to include ‘On-Demand’ workouts and amazingly good shakes, but also they have built their brand to be more main-stream and convenient to the user. And if nothing else, it is a fantastic work out and really does a great job maximizing your time while balanced with helping you achieve the results and health you want.

I promise though, I get nothing by promoting this. I just truly believe in the products that they offer. One of the newer things that they offer are shakes that help curb your cravings for sweets, junk food and all of the food we want but know we shouldn’t have. Should you want to do more research into everything that you can have at your fingertips, including the amazing shakes (Shakeology), reach out to my friend Patricia through her Shakeology site. She has a great story that is inspiring – the shakes and workouts helped her lose the weight she wanted to lose (even though I don’t think she needed to) before a major knee surgery.

Regardless of the method that you choose, take some time each day to get healthy, both in food choices and exercise. It not only will help you to lose weight, and reduce medications and stress, but for me, it will help me stay around much longer in life so that I can tease my boys about the Hurricanes always being lower in the NCAA Football standings than the Gators.

If you are on an exercise journey now, I wish you the best of luck and feel free to share to keep everyone inspired! I can’t wait to share my successes with you soon!

Please note that this post and most of the posts on my website/blog may contain affiliate links. Should you decide to click on one of these ads and purchase something through this link, I will get a commission from it (the pricing is no different for you than going directly to their website). Not all items recommended on this site are affiliate links. I only recommend items that I feel are amazing because I’ve used and tried them. Thank you for your trust and viewership!

mid-week motivation: 6 things that i’m thankful for this week

My #1 man had a big birthday this week. And I sat, the night before, and boo-hoo’d. Not because it was a reminder that I was getting older and my ‘baby’ wasn’t so much of a baby anymore, but because I’m so incredibly proud of him and feel so fortunate to be his mom.

I also reflected that never in my life could I so clearly say that ‘it takes a village’ to raise kids. I’m surrounded by such incredible people and so much love that I thought I’d pause to take a moment and show some gratitude. I’m hoping that this will give you a mid-week ‘bump’ of encouragement…look outside of what is happening and list out everything that has been amazing, fantastic, or inspiring. You’ll be surprised how big the list is…and you’ll have hope that the next day will be just as amazing as today. Seriously, write down things like, “I didn’t stub my toe again” or “I didn’t lose my cool when the parents in car line cut me off”. Those are things to thank the good lord for – trust me, I’ve been there.

I have a ton of garbage in my life right now that is working its’ way out and I realized that even with all of the garbage (my Irish Idiot) I have TWO TONS of amazing things happening in my life also. So here’s my gratitude list to inspire you:

I’m so Thankful for:

1. The Good Lord.
I’m in no way perfect, but my journey toward having a closer relationship with him starts new each day, and I can honestly say that I feel the daily hug; the daily peace that comes with knowing that even when I’m at my lowest point, that I have someone that won’t judge me, curse at me, loves me regardless of my flaws, and will always be there for me. That is something personal and incredible and I can only hope that each of you reading this will experience this one day.

2. My Kids.
I walked into my kids room tonight and saw beauty…really saw peace, tranquility, love, and perfection. There is nothing like knowing that your kids are safe and sound and together. The love that they share is incredible and I couldn’t have asked for more perfectly imperfect children. They drive me insane some days but I wouldn’t want it any other way. I wouldn’t want anything different than the strong-willed, happy, laughing children that I have been blessed with. My life wasn’t complete until they arrived.

3. My Family.
I don’t know how to put into words what my family has done for me. Whether it’s been to help me fix a toilet roll holder, give me moral support during a tough moment, or help me coordinate the who, what, where, when, how, of the kids athletic and school schedules, they are there…always. And when you get a message on Facebook or a text from a cousin just checking on you, life seems not-so-bad. My life is full because they are in my life. I couldn’t do life without them. They are saints!

4. My Friends.
I’ve said this before but my friends are amazing. Simply perfect. They seem to have a way to coordinate who will text me and who will call and who will invite me out and who will stop by at just the perfect time. And even though I know that this isn’t really what is happening, they really do have just the perfect timing. Whether it’s to text me because they care enough to remember that a particular day represented an emotional memory or they invite me to dinner to spend time with just the girls, my friendships couldn’t possibly be stronger. I’m so lucky to have these people in my life. They are saints too!

5. YOU!
All of you reading my blog give me encouragement. It’s hard for someone to put their emotions, life, and experiences to words, hit the ‘publish’ button and wait…wait for reactions, not knowing what they will be. Some of you may hate that I’m discussing my divorce(s) so publicly, some of you have reached out and shared incredibly personal stories about your relationships, but all of you have encouraged me to keep ‘talking’ about what is happening in my world. Every day that my ‘viewership’ grows, and even if it doesn’t and I only get one view, I am encouraged to write again. Someone out there is validating that what I’m saying resonates with them or is entertaining them, of which either one is one of my goals. Thank you for your feedback, positive and negative…it’s been an incredible journey so far.

6. The guy that flirted with me.
Man, that felt amazing! Totally unexpected and not reciprocated, but man did that feel good. 🙂

Try it!

To help you get over the mid-week hump, take a moment today to write down five things or three or even one thing that you are thankful for. The memories that you’ll relive will be enough to get you through some of the toughest days.

xoxo Staci Beth

my kids are a little nutty – mid-week motivation

All I can do is laugh

I’ve said it before so forgive me for repeating myself but I love to laugh! This is the last week before school starts which means that by this point in the summer I’m driving my boys nuts and my boys are driving me nuts and my little redhead has entered the terrible two’s early. So at this point, all I can do is laugh because I’m an ugly crier so I try to choose to laugh.

Lately it seems like every time I turn around the kids are doing something that makes me question my sanity or laugh. The choices that they’ve made this week have me wondering if I’ve taught them anything or if they just decided to turn their ears off all summer.

So I thought that I would put my week to meme’s to give you a chance to laugh. Your kids may have been able to top these but I thought I that I would share so that you could commiserate with me or laugh with or at me. This stuff really happens…unfortunately on a regular basis, in my household.

The last 7 days with my kids…in meme’s

mid-week motivation: laughter…10 relationship meme’s to make you laugh

I love to laugh and I would have to say that it’s my favorite hobby. I’m the one that laughs when no one else laughs (and sometimes in awkward situations). I really love corny jokes. And I laugh at my own laugh sometimes and when I’m around friends that snort, I laugh even harder. You’d think that I would have amazing abs as much as I love to laugh.

I’ve always said that sometimes you only have two choices in life – to laugh or cry…and it’s so much more fun to laugh!

So this week’s mid-week motivation is pure laughter…especially aimed at those of us that are going through relationship challenges. I found some funny memes online and it was just what the doctor ordered. So I had to share so that you could enjoy some laughter too. Read these over and over or share, because everyone needs to smile. 🙂

Relationship Funnies…

Wishing you love and laughter!

Staci Beth