Friday, September 9, 2011 we come!

This is a schedule of our plans in Chicago.  I'm posting here so that anyone who wants to hang out with us knows kind of what we plan to do.  Nothing is set in stone.  Any of you Chicago friends are welcome to join us at any time!  Just leave a comment or email us.

10:15a & 11a Cami and LuAnn's haircuts at Streets of London
1p tour of Merchandise Mart ($12 per person)
7:30p dinner at Sushi Wabi (reservations are required so let us know in advance if you want to join)
9p Sweet Mandy B's

Saturday (Katie Jensen here this day only)
Breakfast at Bongo Room
6:30p Old Friends Get together somewhere in Hyde Park...most likely involving PIZZA (evite here)

9a Church
Early dinner at Bandera's

Other hopes:
Thrift shopping in Bucktown
Dinner at Banderas
Shopping on the Magnificent Mile
Architectural Boat Tour
Cream puffs from Beard Papas
A run on the trail
Bike ride on the trail

Anything to add?  Leave a comment.
Want to join?  Leave a comment.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

prayers are answered!

We potty trained Jack last November. He was 2 1/2. According to my sworn by potty training method 22 months is the ideal age (still don't agree, but that is the only thing we disagree on!) so I figured at 2 1/2 and asking for undies he was ready. After a month when he would still not pee in public (not on a tree, not in a potty, nowhere that wasn't home). Additionally this kid pees at least 10 times a day. I quit and went back to diapers. However, he held on the pooping in the potty.

In the following months Jack asked a few times to go in public and he was insisting that I change his diaper standing up so I thought we'd go for it again. We did so in early April. Jack did great at first...for a couple weeks. Then he started having 3-4 accidents a day (still 5-6 successes each day).

Last Tuesday was a bad day. With regard to Simon's behavior lately and Jack's potty problems I felt like I was getting an F in parenting. I texted Jeff and said "if parenting is measured in outcomes and am failing."

That night I said a prayer with each of the boys at bedtime. I talked with each of them about what we were going through and told them we needed Heavenly Father's help.

JACK HAS NOT HAD ONE ACCIDENT SINCE! Day or night! (He gets up to pee a couple times each night.) It is truly a miracle!

As a side not I contacted the potty queen for her advice, which I didn't need since God stepped in first. You get this mentoring service when you download her method and get an account. This is what she said in case you are interested. She was spot on. If I had not strayed from her program I think I would have avoided some of our problems. All hail the potty queen!

My plea for help:
I potty trained Jack when he was 30 months with your method. He was mostly trained in 4 days, but continued to have at least one accident every day and would not use public potties or trees. We also discovered he has a very small bladder and pees at least once per hour. After a month I went back to diapers because I have another child and responsibilities that did not allow me to keep up with this. However, he continued to poop in the potty and has not pooped in his diaper for at least 3 months. About a month after he went back to diapers he asked to go in public and successfully did so...pee only.

So figuring we were over the public hurdle I trained him again at 33 months (7 weeks ago). He did very well initially. After a couple weeks he was having only 1 accident a day and was dry some nights. However, most nights that he stays dry is because he would get up and go in the middle of the night. I thought we were doing well.

However, he has regressed and a couple weeks ago he began having 2-4 accidents per day and has only been dry at night a couple times in the last couple weeks. He has accidents at any time...not only when playing, but also when I am standing talking to him or he is just quietly doing an activity at home...and sometimes only 20 minutes after he has just peed in the potty. Since this started happening I began employing rewards again and they have made no difference. He still pees at least once an hour. Out of words Help
Her response...actually it's the queens assistant or something:
Based on what you have told me, I feel that your boy isn't necessary regressing, but is more acting out and trying to see what you will and will not allow him to get away with. I'll explain why I say this....

1) He knows what to do and how to do it. Just isn't doing it.

2) He was doing well, no accidents, and then BOOM accident city.

Some kids will have a "simple" accident after being dry for a time. When the parent sees the accident they are SHOCKED - which is completely understandable. Shock brings out frustration, and the child picks up on it. Kids like frustration so they continue to have the accidents to get mommy's attention. Even negative attention is attention, and they make mommy dance with their behavior!!!

The key to overcoming this behavior is fairly simple -- Stop responding to the negative behavior, and FLOOD him with extra praise constantly through out the day. You'll praise praise praise. Praise for going pee on time, praise for keeping his room clean, for picking up toys, for playing nice with friends. Praise often so that it is obvious what behavior you like to see. Now when he has an accident, don't respond with words. No words at all. Take him by the hand and bring him to the bathroom. Clean up the mess and change his clothes but do not be rough with your actions. Do all this without a word. Once he is clean, send him on his way and resume praising for all good things again. The more attention you draw towards the good behavior, the more willing he will be to repeat it due to the reaction he is getting.

Since he is pretty accident prone at this time, continue to give him the control, but encourage him to initiate the potty trips before you rush in and take over. Watch for his body language which tells you when he needs to go potty, such as wiggling, dancing, holding himself, etc. When you see this behavior, right then is when you should repeatedly remind him to let you know. Then, wait and watch him like a hawk. Do not take him to the potty unless he tells you or he begins to have an accident - at which time you should rush him to the potty to finish the very moment the accident begins. If you carry out the training this way, then it is going to teach him that you expect a verbal warning, as well as give him the practice at reading his own body 'cues'.

For nights, plan to check on him periodically through out the night. If he is dry, let him sleep. If he is wet, take note of the time and plan to check on him earlier the next night, and so forth, until you come to a time when he is consistently dry which is also just prior to when he would usually have an accident. Our goal is to pin point when the accidents are happening. Once you have an idea of when they occur, then you should begin taking him to the potty just prior to those times, before the accident takes place. If you do this consistently to where he has multiple dry nights, then he is going to learn to wake himself and go potty before releasing in his bed. It could take a few nights to get your times accurate enough, but once you do, it will be smooth sailing from there.

Start with these few suggestions and let me know how I can help you further. He is a smart little guy so once he sees that you are not going to give in due to your example of consistency, the better he will do.

-Julie Jensen
Mentoring Support

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The boys are camping (father and sons campout) and I can't sleep when I'm in such a big bed alone (not complaining...I'm loving being lonely). So where else would I turn but

The next step in my living/dining room is textiles and I'm a little stuck. I haven't been able to figure out what colors to incorporate into curtains, pillows and rugs. I want it to be colorful and eclectic, but also cohesive. While this room is a bit much (the entire house is like this!) inspired me...particularly because it had yellow walls and green chairs which I also have.

I would certainly tone it down a bit...lose the hanging things and a more muted yellow. But otherwise I would feel invigorated if I were in this room. I definitely want more color in my home! What am I afraid of? So then I went to and I was kind of taken by these bold prints.

This for a vintage feel...

This for a more modern feel, which probably is more fitting with what is already there...

What do you think? Of course, give it a couple weeks and I'll have something totally different in mind!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

I must share!

If you are looking for a light weight summer t-shirt that doesn't need an undershirt and covers all your underroos this is it! A nice scoop that isn't too low, but adds style. Loose fitting, thus cooler. This cut also has a little more style than your average tee. This is a hot summer necessity! I'm so tempted to get another. I was lucky enough to find mine on sale in a coral color they don't seem to have anymore.

Perhaps a little more price-wise than your average 2 shirt, but get 1 of these instead of 3 from Target. Too bad they don't have more colors!

Some of the reviewers said this was perfect for wearing to bed. Ha ha...perhaps I am wearing a PJ shirt, but I don't care. If it takes calling it PJs for Anthropologie to make a knit top under $60 then I'll take it!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

nothing new week ?

I haven't been blogging much lately (reading or posting). I have been trying to slow down my life and cut out anything non-essential or enriching. Sometimes blog reading can be enriching, but it often requires sifting through unenriching material to get there. I also haven't visited facebook it the last couple months except to send messages.

But I thought I owed everyone an update on my nothing new challenge. I have modified the challenge a bit...okay the bit I modified is a big bit...I have taken clothes out of it. Due to time and supply I only purchased about 4 used clothing items...2 of which I haven't worn once. And I don't have enough time to sew things and make/refurbish things for my home. However, I have become much more focused on the clothes shopping front and have decided I want to only go shopping 4 times a year and when I go I will buy one complete outfit including shoes and accessories. I did that in March and I was so pleased with how it enhanced my wardrobe. I am also in the process of altering some things in my closet that I love, but are too big. I have also made a few things. Some people say sewing doesn't save money, but when you are designing and making exactly what you want you get more bang for your buck. It also means that rather than going to the mall to look for something specific and seeing 3 items you don't need, but go to the fabric store and get exactly what you need.

I am, however, not buying any new clothing for my boys. I buy used shoes and a few other pieces and make the basics. I am making shorts. I am ordering plain t-shirts at $2 a piece and adding stencils and appliques to give them a mini-Boden look. I'll take pictures of them at some point. For the most part I like what I can make better than what I can buy for them. Little boys clothes just aren't that interesting. And they are easy and inexpensive to make.

As for the rest of the challenge it still gives me positive energy. I had the same feeling when I didn't own a car. I felt like I was helping the world in my own small way. I am reducing clutter and garbage. And I am using other people's clutter and garbage. There is truly some green blood inside of me. I probably got it from my parents. They were always conscientious of waste...if you have ever had a baked potato at my parents home and you don't know any better you will be the only one that doesn't fold your tin foil nicely to be used again.

Pictures of my living room will come soon. It has come a long way, but still has a long way to go. Interior design is so much fun...although I am far better at the execution than the ideas. I have been fortunate to find some designer friends come through the wood work.

I do need to mention one other thing about this of the reasons it is so fun is because of where I live. DC is full of people who have a lot of money and move often. Therefore craigslist is wonderful. People also buy all the nicest things for their children and since they only have 1 or 2 of them. I don't think you will find a better place for 2nd hand...especially in Utah or a small town.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

living/dining room with latest changes

*I've had this post in the works for a month. Things have changed since...the hanging lantern is gone, windows moved to striped wall and another shelf 1/3 the length of the existing white shelf will go where the windows were. But I'm posting anyway. Maybe in a year when it is done I'll post the final product, but no promises because I'm not doing this to blog about it. I'm doing it to enjoy for myself and for those who come here in the flesh!

Finally posting pictures of the latest changes. I love the new wall. The changes are combinations of ideas from a few people. When I posted the question about the white wall way back when a couple of you linked me with some people with expertise. I feel so lucky. I realized that I knew far less about interior design than I thought. I've realized I can identify a problem, but not solutions. But I am sold on the fact that interior designers are trained to know how things work and how to give me solutions. (It's kind of like what I do for people as a therapist! They should be called interior therapists.) Sunshine Geisler, an old friend of an old friend and thereby my friend who teaches at Monterey Peninsula College in Monterey, CA. And Joy of Joys of Home from Centerville, UT. Sunshine unfortunately doesn't have a blog or site since she just teaches. But she is having a baby soon so hopefully she'll begin some online consulting.

The layout has changed as well as the wall. I built that long white shelf in about 30 minutes with a 1x4 and a 1x6 and some screws. Easy as pie. Now I need textiles. That will come...later than sooner.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

rooms I like

With this nothing new challenge I've become more creative and more focused on figuring out how to decorate my home. I'm on Apartment Therapy a lot lately. I love! Here are a few of my favorites.

These nurseries are the only ones that are "matchy" or have a consistent style or color scheme of the ones I'm posting. I am obsessed with this afghan. All those colors are invigorating and delightful. I want to make something like this for my next baby.

I posted a link to this a while ago and I still love it.

The rest are more eclectic. I generally like a good variety of things in a room. These are styles that I would like to live in. I'm not the type that is going to have a grand plan and stick to it (I rarely stick a plan...I keep things fluid and I relish in spontaneity). I like to be able to see something I love and put it in the room just because I love it. I don't want to have to leave something out just because it doesn't go with a specific theme or style. I love this wall display. I like how there is so much white in this room, but it is still so colorful.

I like the variety of color and texture here.

I love the teal with the yellow and those curtains are awesome (but discontinued at Ikea)! I like how this vintage chair is paired with something funky.

Again, white, but not bland.

I'm considering chairs like these to replace my shabby chic ones. I like the mixture of styles. It makes things more interesting to me.

And these last 3 are all of one room. I love this room, although I'm not a fan of that huge piece of art on the wall. I love how it is huge (I really want a huge piece of art for my white wall, but I wouldn't choose that one. I do, however, like the funky mixed with traditional.