Six things I learned in August

by Lesley on September 1, 2014 · 5 comments

in lessons learned

photo (57)

This beautiful, fast-paced mom life offers many learning opportunities but I’m not always great about writing them down. This month I’m linking up with Emily to share what I learned in August. Get ready for a little silly, a little bit helpful, and a little bit gross.

1. Cleaning barf out of a car seat requires patience and practice. Unfortunately, we’ve had lots of practice. It appears both of our children get carsick. I am hopeful this is just a toddler thing because it’s been awhile since Anna has had an incident, but poor Owen…poor, poor Owen.

Two separate incidents this month alone! We’re learning to: avoid winding roads, carry extra wipes, have a change of clothes in the car, and try not to panic. (I’ll just admit: I panic and freak out every single time.) Here’s my biggest tip: tempting as it might be to scoop your child out of the car seat and comfort them, wait until you’ve assessed and dealt with the damage. I’ll leave it at that.

2. Bribery is a beautiful parenting strategy. I never thought I’d be a parent that bribed on the regular, but Anna’s new sticker chart is both simple and effective. I have an ugly printable from Pinterest and I wrote in four categories:  “Trying new things” + “Not interrupting” + “Getting yourself dressed” and “Saying hello when you are introduced to new people.”  The chart has been most helpful before we leave for swim lessons. “See if you can put your whole face in the water today, Anna girl, so I can give you a ‘tries new things’ sticker.” Bam. Next thing you know I’ll be paying for grades. Ugh.

3. Uber is awesome. Have you tried this (somewhat new) transportation app? We used it while in Los Angeles for our anniversary weekend. It BLEW MY MIND. We never waited longer than three minutes for a ride, and it was cheaper and cleaner than a taxi. You must try it. And, if you’re looking for a flexible job, you should consider becoming a driver. Props to my husband for knowing about this LONG before I did.

4. Speaking of great apps, we also used Waze. If you hate traffic, and want real time reports and alternative routes, you’re going to love this invention.

5. Sometimes I need to make room for spontaneity. I tend to keep our life very scheduled, but not because I necessarily like routine. There is so much to see and do–both fun things and productive things–that an intentional schedule seems like the only way to make it all happen. But last week we had nothing on the calendar! I couldn’t find a babysitter so I was home every morning, the YMCA (and swim lessons) were closed, and I hadn’t planned any play dates. We took each day at a time, doing what we felt like doing and not overextending ourselves. On Friday night we headed up to Cayucos to spend time with Zach and Dana at the beach. We had so much fun, we stayed an extra night! Spontaneity (and salt water) is good for the soul.

6. We also learned that our children love dogs. For a long time, Anna was very afraid of dogs and we’re not sure why. I think our neighbor’s black lab, Lincoln, has helped with her fears. Both kids spent much of our weekend climbing all over Zach and Dana’s golden retriever, Bella. It warmed my heart to watch them delight in her. In fact I may have had a “WE NEED A DOG” moment, but then I collected myself and decided it’s a terrible idea (for now.) As soon as my kids are out of diapers…game on.

What did you learn this month? Leave me a comment, or head over to Emily’s blog and post your own!

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Just so you know I'm copying your sticker chart, probably verbatim.  Those 4 categories are certainly "growth areas" in our house too. Good idea! :)


Tip for having a dog with young kiddos: DON'T. GET. A. PUPPY. Seriously, get one that is a little older (1-2 yrs) and preferably already house broken and you will love it. :) Bonus points if you have a fenced in yard that you can let them run around in vs. having to put them on a leash every time they have to go out (that stinks). :):)


Everyone needs a dog! Lol! I'm looking forward to your future "What I learned" posts.....I'm thinking there will be an upcoming one on what you learned about puppy housebreaking!

LesleyM moderator

@TheAnonBlonde Very funny! ;) I've wanted a dog for sooooo long but the thought of caring for another living thing during these crazy little kids years makes me nervous. I think I'll enjoy a dog more when the kids are a bit older. Plus our landlord won't let us have one. Sad face. 


@LesleyM @TheAnonBlonde  we have a rule around here currently: no more things that poop. when the oldest child is old enough to clean up the poop from a dog, we might consider it. we also might have to wait until we move back to CA (if ever) before getting said animal, because I ain't paying to board the dang thing every time we travel.