The Race to the Potty

Charlotte jumped up and walked quickly to a far corner of the basement. I looked up and asked, “Are you pooping?!”

“Yes!” (With all the sass and know-it-all inflection a two-year-old can muster.) 

This is the “gun shot” that begins our race… 

“Go upstairs to the potty! Go! Go! Go!” 

“Okay!” 

I have never climbed stairs faster than during potty training. I would like to say this is because I’m supermom, and I’m that excited to help my daughter…

In reality, the potty is a shining trophy and I am the winner. Pooping in the potty means I don’t have to scrub a brown booty, and there is zero chance of poo finding its way onto my hands or under my finger nails. 

Potty training is really about me. 

Tonight’s potty training victory was wonderful, but it’s a rarity. We have yet to fully train our toddler. We have tried many tactics, but I appear to be losing the long race (despite the occasional short gain).

Bribery – This worked well for a little while, but quickly tapered off in its appeal. Of course, she still expects treata, it’s not enough to entice her to use a potty with regularity. 

Run Around Naked – I’m not sure why we thought this was a good idea?! I cleaned pee off several carpeted and uncarpeted floors. Hey, at least it wasn’t poop! 

Asking – Charlotte is my child. If you ask/remind her to do something every 30 minutes, she is going to lash out with an unforeseen rage.

Move the Potty – We brought the potty into the living room for easier use. It became a new chair for lounging. 

Fighting/Forcing – This was the worst idea by far. She met every bit of my force with equal (and often greater) resistance. 

Many parents tell us that Charli will be potty-trained when she is ready. While I know they are probably right, it doesn’t do much for me now.

In the meantime, we shall continue our race to the potty until that wonderful day when we no longer have to run. 

Let’s hope that day comes sooner rather than later!

My Name is Angie, and I Was Scammed By *IC FREESHIPPING

I learned today that I have been incurring fraudulent charges on my credit card since January 2013. Oh, yes. You read that correctly… I have been duped for the past 22 months!

I know that many other “young” adults in my generation (and the generation after mine) are terrible with money. Emphasis on TERRIBLE. I am no different. I’m working to change my ways, and this new journey to financial security/freedom requires a long, cold walk through the depths of my student loan debt and what little credit card debt I have accumulated.

I’m learning just how oblivious I am/was in terms of my own money! Let’s set aside the wasted spending at the gas station and lunches out with friends for another day so we can focus on the topic at hand…

TWENTY-TWO MONTHS of fraudulent charges? I’m embarrassed for a number of reasons:

  1. I obviously haven’t read a credit card statement in nearly two years.
  2. I have paid more than $250 in charges I did not incur.
  3. The fraud continued despite a recent credit card number change.
  4. The look on HOS’ face when I told him how many charges have hit my account…

I pray that you are all far better at managing your money than me. If not, then I beg you to at least read your credit card and bank statements! Don’t just give away your money like me!

Here are a few tips to avoid being a credit card fraud sucker:

  • Request both paper and email statements, so you’ll see at least one version.
  • Review all transactions to verify authenticity.
  • If a transaction is suspicious, call your credit card company right away! My card card provider, Chase, offers 24-hour customer service.
  • If you see a $12.97 charge from *IC FREESHIPPING.COM, cancel your card immediately, and call your fraud department. This is the group that got me!
  • Do your research. In my case, a quick Google search shows *IC FREESHIPPING.COM fraud complaints going back as far as 2010! This is a good way to learn more about the vendor when faced with the possibility of fraud.
  • Stop buying things online. Ok, so I know this is nearly impossible, but it’s the best way to prevent issues! If you’re going to continue shopping online, vette out retailers you’ve never used before.

Take it from me – the dummy who let an old trick get the best of her for nearly two years – pay closer attention to your money! If you’re not watching your financial back, who will?

One last note and an unsolicited plug – use a trustworthy credit card provider. Chase was awesome on the phone today. They were kind and understanding, while still inquisitive to make sure I truly was experiencing fraud. In the end, they paid me back for all the fraudulent charges and are sending a new card. What would your credit card provider do for you?

Gaining Some Perspective

I’m going to let you in on a secret that I learned very quickly after becoming a mom last July. New parents have no idea what they are doing. None of us. We stumble around in highly caffeinated semi-comas, rocking back-and-forth and randomly tearing up at Google commercials and anything happy, funny, angry, loving, hateful, nice, rude, sad…

We question our abilities as parents on a regular basis. So when Shane shared a Forbes article with me – 7 Ways You’re Hurting Your Daughter’s Future – I realized that my concerns are well-founded. There is a significant possibility I’m going to screw up my child. And then again, I may not.

I have read too many blogs and articles telling me things like kissing my daughter on the lips will give her cavity bacteria and how holding her will keep her from becoming independent.
The Forbes article was different. For one, it actually makes sense, and #7 really hit home.

7. You criticize your own body, and/or other women’s bodies.

*Sigh.*

Before getting pregnant with Charlotte, I was at my healthiest and most fit. I fondly dubbed that period of my life as the Skinny Summer. Thirty-five pounds gained and 28 pounds lost and hips, thighs and stomach stretch marks later, my self-esteem is at an all-time low. I frequently comment on my appearance as gross, disgusting or fat and it doesn’t phase me. The thought of my daughter inheriting a negative self-image has me thinking twice about myself and my goals as a mother.

Honestly, parenting isn’t the only thing I’m fumbling my way through. I don’t know very much about who I am yet. I do know that I want nothing more than to be the very best mom for Charli. The only way I know how to do that is to discover myself during the process of becoming a mom. Charlotte and I will grow together, and one day, when she is holding her own baby in her arms – elated, terrified and nervous – I’ll share this journey with her. How a mother and daughter (and amazing father and husband of sorts – Shane aka HOS) wrote their life story on this side of the rainbow. Image