Monday Milestone

McKinley plays guitar:

Everyday for the past two weeks McKinley has been going over to the guitar and strumming it. And in those moments, I’d think to myself, I have to start playing again— dad would want me to—I’ll feel him with me. But I haven’t picked up the guitar.

When I drive, I sing. Ohh, and I get really into it.  For the last couple of weeks while singing I’ve thought, I should learn this song on the guitar– it would be beautiful. But I haven’t yet. And why not!?

It seems clear now, but my mother actually pointed it out to me in an earlier conversation.
I said, “I’ve been praying for a sign from dad.”
“Today McKinley strumming on that guitar, and being silly– that was dad,” she said. Then it hit me.  All my thoughts from the last two weeks flooded my mind.

I havn’t been listening!

My dad once told me, “God speaks all the time, but very few know how to listen.” My dad believed that at certain times, in certain moments, God spoke through people—That someone could say something to you, and it could be God speaking, and if you weren’t listening, you would miss it.


Monday Monologue: The Oyster Idiom


I’m not gonna lie–sometimes idioms make no sense to me. The words just don’t always process the right way for me to fully comprehend the metaphor. (I’m sure having dyslexia doesn’t help my case). So please chime in if I’m way off base.

The world is your oyster!

Meaning: The world is yours to do whatever you want! Make life what you want it to be. Enjoy life by working hard for what you want, or by being lucky.

The world is our oyster? Really though? Is it? Ours for the taking? Opportunities everywhere?

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I’m constantly having to depend and rely on others. Yes, it’s a part of life and I get that…but…uh, then the world is not my oyster… right?

See, life and people are unpredictable.  Someone could bust their ass working hard and still never find the “pearl.” How does that make the world anyone’s oyster? Is the oyster for an elite group of people who can afford opportunity?

While I do consider myself both lucky and hard-working…It doesn’t change the fact that at times my decisions and choices rest in the hands of others. I can’t just go and do whatever I please. I think people need to have the right resources, like Pistol’s “sword” in Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor. —> (This is where the idiom comes from).

Well, at least for now I don’t have the resources, but one day, the world will be mine. Muhaha! (Not sure why, but the creepy evil laugh felt appropriate).


You’re right–we all have wishes.

I know that usually on Friday’s I post a
curriculum piece, but something else is on my mind. Today marks 3 months since my father’s passing.

Dear Dad,

My mind is flooding with memories of you, like when you were bent on the ground smelling different soaps and lotions from under the sink with McKinley. You were smiling ear-to-ear looking into her young and (at the time) blue eyes. I loved watching that moment.

And I loved watching so many other wonderful moments between the two of you. Here’s the thing, I can’t help but wish you were here to see her becoming an artist. I wish you could see her brush her own teeth…oh gosh dad, there are many wishes I have.


You’re right–there are many wishes we all have. Haha, I remember you would come home with a dollar lottery ticket and we would go around discussing our various decisions with the winnings. You loved doing that!

Spit it out.

I just…I struggle with your absence. Sometimes it feels like a moral void. Sometimes empty. So I try to wrap my head around, and remember clearly, our conversations about the afterlife. Do you remember? One time we were sitting outside on the back patio late into the evening. Stars above us.

What do you think is going to happen to me?

I told you– I didn’t know, but that it couldn’t be bad, because logistically speaking it wouldn’t make sense. And there started another amazing- thought provoking-conversation.

Dad, I’m sorry I took time for granted. I thought we would have more time together. I’m sorry for the days I was a grouch and the times I was to tired for another wheelchair ride.

Most of all dad, what I want you to know? Even if I have said it before (I want to tell you again). I’m incredibly honored to be your daughter. Proud to call you my father. I’ll miss our in-depth meaningful conversations. I have deep admiration for you, for your compassion, and kindness towards others. I look up to you in ways you won’t understand. And I’ll never stop my quest to becoming a better me. Geez I could write a lot here so—I love you and I miss you.

Thank you for supporting McKinley Milestones and my blogging world. 🙂
This blog today is dedicated to you.
R.I.P. dad. And, I’ll see you again. XO


Monday Milestone: Potty Training

It’s officially potty training time! I admit I’ve been prepared for months with a training potty, books that flush, even a cushion for the big toliet…But I avoided the training part for as long as I could.

At first McKinley was excited for these new objects to explore as a game. And she understood the basic concept by mimicking me. Yeah, I don’t remember the last time I went to the bathroom without entertaining McKinley too.

After about a week I gave up. And put the potty away in the closet. I didn’t have the energy to teach restroom process. Honestly it was daunting. Especially after reading all the crap on what everybody else did. Like, “Sit her on the potty every 20 minutes” … I have read this so many places. And I’m sure it’s totally legit. But Ugg I don’t have the energy for that.

McKinley showed signs that she was ready. All the ones they tell you to watch for–she started telling me when she went to the bathroom, used gestures to point, or would ask to be changed. And she has been doing this for at least the past 5 months. Yeah, so she was ready, but I guess I wasn’t. Again, that letting go.

But, something changed this past friday.
When I went to get her up out of bed that morning. McKinley said, “Peepee..poopoo.” Nothing out the ordinary. She usually says this when she wakes up, because we change her diaper first thing, (after hugs and kisses). Although, as I was pulling out wipes to prepare myself, I realized I didn’t need the wipes.

“Do you need to go peepee or poopoo McKinley?”

“Yeah,” she said.

“Do you want to use the potty?”

“Yeah,” with a head shake.

Off to the restroom we went and I pulled out the potty from the closet. We read our potty book and after 5 minutes I realized she had gone to the restroom like a big girl. It may be gross or weird, but for parents this is a big moment. At least, it was for me. A really big moment.

Wipe. Flush. Wash&dry hands.


There is a reward chart in the back of one of her books. When she uses the potty, we fill in a circle. She loves to draw and color, so after using the potty its rewarding for her to choose out a colorful marker and color in the circles! And I’ve decided after a certain amount of circles she gets to pick out a toy at the store. (In a reasonable price range of course!)

Yes! We went to pick out undies! Oh man! I can’t believe sometime in the near future she will officially be out of diapers. What? Wait.. Whhhhhattt? You mean I get a raise soon? Haha. (No, I seriously don’t want her to get bigger. I want her in my arms as long as possible.)


So, I’m not pressing the issue. I think that’s key. I’m trying to let her be the boss about this one. I do however prompt her during certain times, like before bed, and about an hour after meals–just simply saying, “McKinley, do you need to use the potty? If you do just let mama know!”

Today is day 4 and she has five circles filled, which means–a special toy 🙂 Ahhh! Potty training is not that difficult afterall.