If you think two’s are terrible …

For those who have not experienced Transforming Three’s, I urge you to spend each day loving your pudgy thighed toddler before they merge into a three-year-old. Three is when it hits the fan, or at least it’s been my experience, my mothers, and mother-in-laws that three is the most horrific age. Why? So glad you asked. A developmental specialist would tell you that it’s because their world is expanding, they are finding their own way and will naturally protest when restricted by rules enforced by you or even gravity. What they mean by protest is to scream, throw things, say nasty things, hit people and sometimes, intentionally make themselves sick to spite you. This sweet little baby that gave kisses and was the center of your universe has become something you fear. He’s the reason you’re hiding in the bathroom reading this post. A supernatural evil force has overtaken your child. It’s called independence. That’s why I call them Transforming Three’s because it’s the age where they transform, instantly from a sweetie-pie to a monster. The scariest thing is this can be turned on and off within a seconds notice. Like a light switch.

Now, don’t get me wrong. While my third three-year-old is fighting me on potty training, wearing clothes, eating anything aside from Nutella and well, everything else. He is also hilarious and brilliant. I love watching his world expand. Before a toy horse was simply a horse, now the adventure that unfolds with that little horse in his hand amazes me! The other day, he explained that his cowboy hat which is flat on the top (that’s the style it is) got flattened when a log fell on him. Now, as untrue as all this was, it amazed me that he could put such a far out story together that was somewhat reasonable. If that makes sense. He has the most fascinating mind and it is such a blessing to watch him grow.

Three is horrible. Three is amazing. I have yet to experience the teen years, I’m sure I’ll be equally horrified. But this is my rant on the toddler years. Good luck and God bless to those who have endured and are enduring. Go buy yourself something nice, you deserve it and Happy New Year!

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Same Song, Different Dance

As we celebrate my oldest child’s eighth birthday, I take stock in all I’ve done. In our nine years of marriage, we’ve had three children, bought and returned a house (pesky financial crisis!) and my hubby has changed careers a thousand times. I’m barely exaggerating. With those mile markers behind me, those dreams fulfilled,  I face my dream and scariest challenge yet.

I’m in full swing editing of my first novel, it is quite the undertaking and one I’m not sure I’ll survive. I feel the same way with approaching potty training with my toddler, however, I’ve won that battle two other times. I’ve trained horses, taught kids to read, write and solve problems and yet, this editing seems far harder than anything I’ve ever attempted.

Editing is like working out. Sure, exercise is awesome -insert eye roll- and the results are amazing. Overnight, I can shed thirty pounds and drop dress sizes. Yeah … right. I haven’t found the magical workout that firms and tones everything and instantly slims me or the magical solution to hours of editing. This world is full of gimmicks, everyone has a get rich quick scheme, a pill to melt pounds, a ‘free’ publishing service, but at the end of the day, it’s good old fashioned elbow grease that gets the job done. Sit-up by sit-up, word by word, we change our future. Painstakingly, we shape up that bod, our families, and novel until they reach their potential.

My previous accomplishments that I can now be proud of weren’t easily accomplished. There were blunders, bloodshed, sweat and probably some swearing, but looking back, it seems simple. In the moment, these mountains seem unmoving. What will they look like in a month, though? Will they fade in the distance as we give up and forget? Or will they vanish in the rearview as climb over and keep on driving?

Being a mom, writer and pianist were my lifetime goals. All three of them have been started, but having a child doesn’t make you a mother any more than having a piano makes you a pianist. I’ve worked harder than I ever thought I could to raise my children and learn to play that instrument. I’ve got the book, now it needs editing. It’s blood, sweat, and tears, but then it’s sweet victory when you cross the finish line.

Take small victories. It’s first steps, recitals, and pats on the back. With parenting, writing … anything, it’s never over. There’s always another phase and that’s what makes life worth living. Go on and fulfill that dream. Take small steps, make attainable goals and climb that mountain!