January was a big month for us.  They are little milestones, with big meaning. 

In October and November (and December) I was really struggling with Brayden.  He is a fantastic little man - and most often, the light of my life.  But, there are days when I ask myself how I will make it through the end of the day without committing myself to an institution.  Understandably, Brayden experienced lots of changes in a very short time frame.  He moved into a new home.  He started a new daycare.  His Dad moved into a new home.  He spent long periods of time in Virginia.  We tried potty training - my goal was to have it done by the time he turned 3.  That is hard.  That is a trying time - for the toddler and his parents.  Also during that time, I was really busy with my 9-5 job, and super super busy with photography.  I was one fuse shy of blowing up.   That is also during the time when I wrote, "they come and they go".  I reread that yesterday, and I smiled knowing that those days have passed, for now :) 

During the counseling with my Mom, I cried.  I told her I was struggling with Brayden.  Age 3 is so much harder then the so called "terrible two's".  Two was a cake walk.  Three is tantrums and talking back and refusing to eat, sleep, and poop (literally).  I wanted 3 things from Brayden this year - in all of 2013. If we can over come these, I will be a content parent: 1. Poop on the potty 2. Eat (try) the food that is put in front of him 3. Sleep in his bed.  To date, he is doing exceptionally well with two of them.  I can happily say, we broke him of the phobia of pooping on the potty.  It took a little nudity, tough love, and some bribery but we made it through.  He still gets nervous about it but he hasn't had an accident in two weeks.  To me, that is success! He is also eating the dinner we eat.  Brayden has been a picky eater - and I, a tired single mom, gave into him.  I created the little picky monster - and, it has been hard breaking through the 2 years of me giving in.  But, we are doing it.  Together, at the kitchen table we all sit and eat the same meal.  It doesn't sound like a big deal - but, it is.  I wish it were a little quieter, with a little less protesting and less demands from me.  But, we are doing it.  It isn't perfect and we still have lots of room for improvement but, I will take the little wins, one day at a time. 

Can you guess the battle I have not yet conquered?

(don't you just love his shirt?!?!)

Yes, he is still sleeping in my bed.  It hasn't always been this way.  There was a time when he slept in his crib - through the night, happily.  But, he developed allergies, and sleeping through the night was rare.  Sleep deprivation is horrible.  All Moms know.  He would wake up every other hour.  Back then I didn't know why.  After a year of investigating and constantly going to the doctor, we finally figured it out.  He was never healthy.  The poor kid felt miserable.   I don't blame him for wanting the comforts of his Mom.  And, I don't blame me either.  I was tired.  Even with him in my bed, I never slept through the night, because he never did.  But, it was easier to fall back asleep - for both of us.  So, I will give it some more time to bask in the glories of our little wins.  I will continue one day at a time to build on the achievements he is making.   Hopefully, by summer, I can write that we have successfully over come the 'in mommy's bed sleep-overs'.  Until then, I will keep snuggling the little guy - who is growing bigger every day.  Because, I really don't mind all that much.  I know there will come a time and he will be in his bed.  Until then, I am ok sharing.

Another little win, I celebrated with John as he watched me do my daily count of viewers to my website, I had a record breaking month in January.   I made a goal to break 600 - and by January 31st, I had 765!!  Some bloggers/ photographers can get that in a day - and some, in an hour.  But, for this small town farm girl, I will take that little win.  One day at a time, I will reach new people and hopefully I can snag them to keep coming back - and maybe give me the opportunity to photograph a few of their little wins.  

Thank you for all of those who read.  You are more than a number.  You keep me passionate.  You keep me inspired. 

Happy Friday and have a wonderful weekend!  I am gone next week for a training course for my 9-5'er.  If I get a chance I will try to post some of my secret happenings from this weekend!