The topic for this morning seems to be poop.

I understand if you want to turn away now.

See, the thing with my freshly potty trained 3-year-old is that he’s still not a fan of pooping in the potty. In fact, he’ll just hold it as long as he can so that he just doesn’t poop at all.


So, you can see how that would be a problem. Apparently, the body is not meant to retain stool indefinitely.

But don’t worry ’cause momma brought out the big guns! This is ain’t my first rodeo!

We went through this stool-holding business with TheWiseOne when he was potty training. That’s when we learned the magic of Miralax from our pediatrician.

I felt only slightly guilty as I snuck a dose into TheLittlePrince’s chocolate milk this morning. Thankfully, there’s virtually no taste. He guzzled the stuff down completely unaware. And I realize that putting a laxative into constipating-milk is not the greatest of ideas, but bear with me.

Then I waited.

About an hour later, I heard TheLittlePrince whining in front of the bathroom door. It was time.

Quickly I set him down on the potty. Success! I could hear the little plop of poop! (Sorry, as a parent of a newly potty trained kid, I get really excited about this stuff.) TheLittlePrince was surprised/excited, too, as his eyes grew wide.

TheLittlePrince: “It’s splashin’?!”
Me: “Yes.”
TheLittlePrince: “In the potty?!”
Me: “Yes.”
TheLittlePrince: “I’m gonna make more!”

When he was done, I showed him his beautiful bounty. You would think he would have some semblence of an idea of what was in the potty, but apparently he didn’t. He looked up at me with wide eyes and jaw half-way to the floor. I don’t think he could’ve been more surprised than if he’d looked down and found he’d pooped a leprechaun.

I’m just glad we’ve graduated from pooping in our pants to the potty. ūüėČ


The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Hello, bloggy friends!

Sorry for the lack of posts. Moving + Death in the Family = CREATIVE EXHAUSTION

But I’m back, and the Arnolds are still as mentally deranged funny as ever! And now I will deliver the good, the bad, and the ugly…

The Good: TheLittlePrince is finally potty trained!

And all it took was a week in underwear! There was a small incident at the library where the pee pee forgot it was supposed to go into the potty and accidentally found its way onto his pants, but other than that, we’ve been gold!

The Bad: I’m on a diet. The hunger games ain’t got nothing on me.

And I don’t know what it is about the word “diet”, but it makes people want to put donuts, cupcakes, and cinnamon rolls in front of you.¬†Did you know that donuts have calories? Like… a lot of them?! Oh, my sweet, sweet donut. We shall be together again… someday…

And now I will leave you with¬†The Ugly: TheLittlePrince said this to my mom today: “I found a booger on my finger, but I put it back.”¬†I’m glad¬†that I was at work for this one!¬†Guh-ross!

Passage of Grief

Hello, blog.

A few days ago my mother-in-law died unexpectedly.

It feels like everything has changed. A mountain could’ve moved–the world feels so different. Everything I say, think, or do is post-tragedy. Post-Barb.

But it also feels like nothing has changed because I still have bills to pay and a job to go to on Monday. The boys still have school, and birthdays will still come and go.

I’m trying to come to grips with the tragedy and how to… well, not move on, but keep living. How do I put one foot in front of the other and pretend I’m okay?

I found a beautiful quote today that I feel sums up grief beautifully:

“Grief never ends… But it changes. It’s a passage, not a place to stay. Grief is not a sign of weakness nor of lack of faith. It is the price of love.” –author unknown

We loved her. That’s for sure.

This morning I had a tenuous grasp on my emotions with a constant prick of tears at the back of my eyes and lump in my throat. But I had a good game face until we had all four kids strapped into the van ready to go to town and…

The van wouldn’t start.

We took the kids inside, and I marched info my bedroom, planted my face into my pillow, and unraveled.

My husband came to check on me and said, “I didn’t know you were still hurting this bad.”

And I’m thinking, “When does it get better?” We’re in the point in our passage of grief where the tunnel is still so dark–nearly pitch black as we grope our way through, unsure of our footing. It’s a path I’ve never trod. I don’t know the way. Maybe no one does.

But there is hope.

In our darkest hour in that hospital when we had just lost Barb and our grief was nearly suffocating, something happened. We sat in the critical care waiting room wiping tears from our eyes, and the stupid television was still on playing some meaningless series. I was just wishing we could turn the darn thing off when a commercial came on TV and–suddenly–there was a screaming goat.

And it was the most ridiculous thing. But then my brother-in-law was laughing. And my sister-in-law was laughing. And, darn it, I was laughing.

And even though we weren’t okay, there was a glimmer of hope that somehow we could be…? That maybe we would laugh again.

My husband sat next to me today as I tried to wade out of my grief unsuccessfully. He read me funny stories, and I laughed until I was nearly ready to cry again, but this time with joy.

And I’ve decided that even though the passage of grief will be hard, I’m going to hold onto that glimmer of hope until it shines brilliantly. I’m going to cling to the memories of love and joy and let them be my guide.

Love you, Barb.

Today my mother-in-law died.

Blunt, I know. But that’s how I’m feeling. Everything I do–every normal activity–is tainted with it. After every fleeting moment of normalcy, it comes back to me. Barb’s gone.


What the heck? How does that even happen? How do people just disappear? Is that legal?

You can just be living one moment and gone the next? That’s sick. That’s maddening. That’s…


Un-freaking-fair. Unfair because my four kids were supposed to have their grandmother there at their high school graduation. Unfair because my husband and I were supposed to watch her age into her 90’s and worry about if she was going to burn the house down with her cigarettes. Unfair because somehow I believe that we–the whole freaking family–deserved more time with her.


But here we are despite the unfairness. Despite how I stood by her bedside and attempted to will¬†her back to life. Despite how I sobbed silently through the night and begged God to “send her back to us”.

Here. We. Are.

How do we go on without the woman who decked a guy, knocking him over a bar when he tried to trip her? How do we go on without the woman who nicknamed her sister-in-law “Becky the B****”? How do we go on without the woman who drove the bus for her son’s¬†wrestling team and was the most vocal critic (ie, screaming things slightly nicer than profanities)? How do we go on without the woman who wanted to be cremated and placed in the center of the table at a local bar while we all partied?

How can we¬†go on without the woman who loved Purdue, Lady GaGa, and–most of all–her family?

Because she’d want us to. And I’m pretty sure she’d find some way to come back and kick our butts if we didn’t. That’s Barb. And I think there will be lots of memories and stories for years to come where we throw our heads back, laugh, and say, “That’s Barb!”

And despite it all–the tragedy, the unfairness, the loss–one thing hasn’t changed:

We will always love her.

Rest in peace, Barb.